Most of us have done our share of shopping over the years for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, picking up reliable gifts like flowers, chocolate, ties and more. But how many of us have shopped for Grandparents Day?
Grandparents Day was first recognized in the United States in 1978 and has since gone global. Here in Canada, National Grandparents Day has been observed on the second Sunday in September since 1995.
Grandma and grandpa deserve a special day of recognition for all of the strength, wisdom and love they bring to their families and communities. Here are our five suggestions to celebrate them in grand style.
Whether you want to celebrate your own grandparents, your children’s grandparents or an older adult who has played a grandparent role in your life, you can’t go wrong with a handmade or store-bought gift that focuses on sharing cherished memories and creating new ones.
Grandparent Memory Book – Bookstores carry many variations on the memory/keepsake journal that are perfect for Grandparents Day.
These books are designed to capture and preserve grandparents’ memories, from their own childhood and adulthood through to more recent moments with their grandchildren. They include thoughtful questions and prompts to encourage them to write down stories about their lives plus the traditions, life lessons and family stories they most want to share with younger generations.
If you love a creative project, you can make a memory journal yourself for a more personal touch--you can even get your own kids involved. Whether you buy or make it, this gift is about encouraging grandparents to share their stories and preserve them for generations to come.
Scrapbook – Another way to document and share special memories with the grandparents is to create a family scrapbook that showcases family photos, mementos, handwritten notes and more. You can either make it yourself and give it to them as a gift, or you can present the scrapbook and materials to them and make the scrapbook a fun project that you take on together.
P.S. Don’t forget to leave blank pages in the scrapbook to be filled with future adventures, celebrations and milestones!
Make New Memories – Have you always wanted to learn how to make grandma’s Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, perogies or some other family recipe? Grandparents Day is your opportunity to make it happen.
Arrange a kitchen date with grandma so she can teach you and the kids some of her recipes. You could even capture it on video, like the many contributors behind the inspiring Grandmas Project have done since 2015.
Depending on your grandparents’ comfort level with technology, you could give them an iPad (or other tablet) that they can use to read, play games, stay up to date on current events and stay in touch with family and friends. The best part of giving the gift of technology is the time you will spend with grandpa or grandma showing them how to get the most out of their new devices.
While this gift may not be for every grandparent, research shows that technology can help seniors maintain their independence and stay socially connected, which is especially important for seniors with limited mobility or those whose children and grandchildren live far away.
From playing with paint to getting your hands dirty on a pottery wheel, creative exploration is a great way to awaken your inner child—no matter your age. Being creative and learning new skills with someone is also a great way to have fun and strengthen your bond, which is why we recommend signing up for a class with grandma or grandpa.
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, you should be able to find craft classes—think watercolour painting, pottery or paper crafting—offered at community centres, senior centres or as public outreach programs at your local college or university. Specialty shops like Michaels and Crankpots also offer classes where you and your grandparents can create masterpieces in a fun, friendly environment.
When you pair theatre with dinner or Sunday brunch, you have a recipe for a winning Grandparents Day gift. If your grandparents enjoy live entertainment, buy them tickets to a show at a venue like Edmonton’s Mayfield Dinner Theatre.
Public art galleries, museums and science centres like the Telus World of Science can also be a great place for multigenerational fun. Everyone will enjoy exploring the exhibitions, talking about what they’ve seen and rounding out the day with a visit to the gift shop.
What better setting to catch up with your grandparents than in a comfortable local restaurant with exceptional food? Let someone else do the cooking, while you swap stories and make new memories.
The culinary scene in Edmonton and surrounding areas is thriving, and with hundreds of diverse restaurants to choose from, there is something for everyone. Pick a place near your grandparents’ home, or make it a longer outing and include a tour of downtown in your journey.
The common thread that runs through all of these gift suggestions is time spent together. If you can’t see the grandparents in your life on Grandparents Day, make a point to plan something special for another day. As most grandparents will tell you, quality time and companionship are the greatest gifts of all.