Today is National Grandparents Day for 2013. The special day put aside for our parents' parents dates back to the 70s, when President Jimmy Carter signed it into law. Grandparents Day falls on the first Sunday in September, according to The San Bernardino Sun on Sept. 8. For those lucky enough to still have living grandparents, often just a phone call or even a visit will do. But what else can you do in honor of your predecessors?
Statistics show about two out of three of us Americans celebrate this day. It's good for the greeting card industry to the tune of around four million greeting cards sold.
But florists and other retailers enjoy the spoils of the day, selling the cards, candy and flowers. Others take the opportunity to take their elders out to eat.
Whether it be breakfast, brunch, lunch or a more elegant formal dinner, it's a day for generations of families to come together. Or maybe your family just gathers at someone's house to share memories?
Perhaps the most well-known proponent of the holiday was Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a West Virginia housewife who wanted to teach of the important contributions of older adults, while also honoring lonely older persons in nursing homes.
Thanks to President Jimmy Carter, her and others' efforts resulted in the 1978 law designating this first Sunday in September as National Grandparents Day. The first one was Sept. 9, 1979.
The purpose of Grandparents Day is stated in the statute as, "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer".
The Ledger-Enquirer writes that not all families use the familiar terms Grandma and Grandpa. Though most popular, other grandparent nicknames included Nana, Papa, Granny, Granddad, Mimi and Poppy.
The underlying purpose of the holiday wasn't just to create another reason to buy a relative a present or greeting card, but to draw attention to our older relatives and neighbors who need our love and attention.
So, even if you forgot today, it's not to late to do something for that special older person.