Every December I create our new family calendar for the upcoming year. Among the important dates to include alongside Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day and Jazz Fest, is Grandparent’s Day. Celebrated the Sunday following Labor Day, Grandparent’s Day was introduced as a national holiday nearly 34 years ago. This year, it is celebrated on September 8, 2013.
My most beloved childhood memories included my grandparents and my life is more enriched because of them. I relished visiting them as they would cook me special treats and spoil me with attention and keepsakes, even into adulthood. They taught me some of the greatest life lessons and I adore the time and special memories I have with each them. I seek the same relationships and memories for our own children. Our family’s plans for Grandparent’s Day include creating “special” gifts and moments. Below are ideas to consider when celebrating this special day with the grandparents in your lives in appreciation for their nurturing and unconditional love.
Start a New Orleans tradition on Grandparent’s Day
Spend the day at the Audubon Nature Institute’s Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium or Park
Feed the ducks along Bayou St. John
Sleepover at the grandparent’s house
Fly a kite by the lakefront
Ideas for the grandparents that have a green thumb or love nature
Plant a flower every year in their garden and watch them grow and bloom each year
Take a stroll through City Park’s Botanical Gardens
Create a hand painted vase using a mason jar…
Directions: Using your favorite acrylic/water-based paint and foam brush, paint two layers on a clean mason jar. Allow to dry. Cover your child’s palm with paint and gently leave their hand print on the side of the jar. (Optional for Mom: Using 180 grit sandpaper rub over the embossed lettering and lines of the jar to add character.) To complete, use a foam brush to cover the entire jar with Mod Podge or white school glue.
Hand paint a bird house…
Directions: Our local craft stores, for example Michaels and JoAnn, stock small wood birdhouses. Use your favorite acrylic/water-based paint and imagination. Too young to paint? Have the little one use his thumb print to create an interesting pattern around the edges of the birdhouse. Mom, want to add your unique touch as well? Paint the sides of the roof, base and pole an accent color. To complete, for interior use, use a foam brush with Mod Podge or white school glue.
Ideas for the grandparents that love pictures
Take professional pictures with the entire family
Use newspaper clippings to create a unique picture frame
Directions: Grab a section of your favorite newspaper and tear off interesting words, letters, pictures, etc. Using white school glue and a foam brush, brush the glue over the entire wood frame and layer the newspaper clippings. It is impossible to make a mistake! To finish, brush a layer of glue over the entire surface. Note: I removed the backing of the frame before starting in order to create clean finished edges and then glued the backing back to the frame.
Ideas for the grandparents beyond driving distance
Consider mailing a handmade card, photos, chocolates or flowers
Be sure to follow up with a phone call or Skype.
Ideas for the grandparents no longer with us
Consider creating handmade cards or treats and sharing them with the elderly in your neighboring nursing home
Make a donation or complete a service project in their name