Grandparents Day is a national holiday or observance, celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year it takes place on Sunday September 12. Contrary to popular misconception, Grandparents Day was not invented by greeting card companies, florists, restaurants, or any other business interest.
Instead, the origin of Grandparents Day can be traced back to 1956 when a mother from West Virginia named Marian McQuade helped organize a community celebration for people over 80 years of age. In doing so, she realized how many elderly care facility residents had been forgotten by their families.
She envisioned a holiday that would not only bring attention to the elderly population but would also honor all grandparents by celebrating the connections between generations. Her work paid off and in 1973 West Virginia became the first state to set aside a special day to celebrate grandparents. Three years later – in 1978 – her efforts resulted in Grandparents Day becoming a national holiday celebrated in every state.
Unlike many other popular holidays that honor people on a larger scale with parties and large gatherings, most Grandparents Day celebrations are small and intimate and often take place in homes, hospitals, and care facilities with close family members.
In fact, McQuade went to great lengths to keep the holiday less commercial and truer to its roots by refusing all donations and royalties associated with her efforts. She also spurned overtures from Hallmark who predicted that Grandparents Day would become the sixth biggest holiday on the calendar each year for greeting card sales.
Despite that, many families celebrate grandparents by giving gifts. Some families embrace the spirit of the holiday and encourage grandparents to share stories and give gifts to their grandchildren, especially personal gifts that celebrate special family traditions.
In most cases, family get-togethers do not need to be expensive or elaborate. The important thing is choosing activities the grandparent enjoys while fostering intergenerational connection. Sharing a simple meal or spending time to visit is enough to please most grandparents. Engaging with them by playing board games, cards, and puzzles are fun ways to spend time together. Grandparents Day is also a fantastic time to look at old pictures or share some family stories.
It Truly is the Thought That Counts
Perhaps the biggest reason why Grandparents Day has escaped commercial exploitation is because of holiday burnout. If that is truly the case, grandparents still should not let the occasion go by unnoticed. Most of the younger generation will be happy to participate even if they don’t have to plan. It is important to remember that true reason for holiday is to give grandparents a chance to show their love for – and spend their time with – their grandchildren.
If you are not able to get together in person, Grandparents Day is a terrific chance for you to call them, text them, video chat with them, or perhaps even write them a good old-fashioned hand-written letter or have your children draw some pictures for them to include in a card. Of course, you could also send them a beautiful bouquet of flowers from William Paul Floral Design. We have options for everyone, and a simple surprise delivery is an easy, convenient, and personal way to make Grandparents Day special.
As a Yes We Can florist, William Paul Floral Design features same-day delivery in San Francisco, Fair Oaks (Sacramento), Atlanta, and surrounding areas for birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, get well soon wishes, sympathy, or anything else. Visit our store, located at 1418 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133 or shop online 24/7.