Happy Grandparents Day!

Learn about the holiday and get Grandparents Day ideas

Hallmark staff
Grandparents Day

The idea to designate a day honoring grandparents is credited to Marian McQuade, a West Virginia homemaker who wanted to encourage young people to tap into the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. West Virginia was the first state to recognize Grandparents Day in 1973. A grassroots movement grew during the 1970s, with many other states recognizing the occasion.

Efforts to establish National Grandparents Day culminated in 1978 with a joint congressional resolution signed by then-President Jimmy Carter. In his proclamation, President Carter said of grandparents: “Because they are usually free to love and guide and befriend the young…they can often reach out past pride and fear of failure and close the space between generations.”

By presidential proclamation, National Grandparents Day was first celebrated Sept. 6, 1979, and has been observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day ever since. In 2013, Grandparents Day is celebrated on September 8.


Looking for Grandparents Day ideas? Try one of these:

  • Make a serving tray showcasing a favorite family linen, such as a doily or lace handkerchief.
  • Make a ribbon commemorating your grandparents as standouts. Just adapt these fun award ribbons for your winning relatives.
  • If your grandparents are dealing with some of the challenges of growing older, here are some useful gift ideas they’re sure to appreciate. But don’t forget: You’re the best gift you can give. A visit—or a card or letter, if you live far away—can mean a lot.


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