There are few theories about the origins of the holiday. According to one group of people, National Grandparents’ Day was first proposed by Michael Goldgar who had spent a lot of money and made a lot of trips to Washington DC to get the holiday established. On the other hand, many people consider Marian McQuade, a housewife in West Virginia, to be the one who made a lot of effort to make people appreciate seniors. When she got a call from the White House in 1978 it became apparent that her actions became and inspiration for signing Grandparents’ Day into law by President Jimmy Carter.
The most recognizable symbol of Grandparents’ Day in the United States is the forget-me-not flower. However, this flower blooms in the spring, not in the autumn, so grandparents often receive some seasonal flowers as a sign of appreciation. Since 2004 there is also an official song of the National Grandparents’ Day in the USA – A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill.
Grandparents’ Day, as the name suggests, is a great occasion to honor all grandmothers and grandfathers. People do that in different ways – mainly through giving cards or gifts. Many children also invite their grandparents to school that day, so that they can watch their grandchildren taking part in some special assembly programs. Sometimes simply a phone call or a meal together is an act of appreciation for grandparents.
Did you know?
Marian McQuade, considered to be the main founder of National Grandparents’ Day, used to educate people about the importance of the senior citizens, but also urged them to adopt a grandparent. It is expected that by 2030 more than 5 million of elderly individuals will be staying in nursing homes, and more than half of them does not have any visitors. This is why there are more and more volunteers that can “adopt a grandparent” - they are being matched to such lonely residents and spend time with them simply talking, reading or playing games.
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