By Hope Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
September 8th is Grandparents Day! If you’re looking for ideas to celebrate this year’s Grandparents Day beyond the typical lunch out with the family or card, this article has a few ideas for you. Whether you have a grandparent, your parent is a grandparent, our you have the fortune of having one or many wonderful grandkids of your own, here are a few ways to celebrate this holiday as a family.
We want to honor and spend time with our grandparents. In a culture that doesn’t celebrate wisdom, age, or families, we can push back against that and have fun as a family, celebrating in the following unique ways:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/monkeybusinessimages
1. Make a Collage
Band together with your family to compile a collage, photo album, or other art project that reminds you of your grandparents. If they like a certain sports team, you can include cards of various players or pictures of them. If they enjoy doing a certain activity such as painting or ringing in a church’s handbell choir, put a sticker of a paintbrush or bell to represent those interests.
You can often find great materials for projects like these at stores such as Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics. But don’t be afraid to venture into the Dollar Store or other cost-effective venues to find the materials needed.
Get creative with this activity. If you choose to do a collage, make sure you add hooks to it so they can hang the gift up on their wall. For other projects such as photo albums or scrap books, have as much fun as possible. Invite Grandma and Grandpa to help you with the project or surprise them with the heartfelt finished product.
2. Use Family Recipes for Dinner
Grandparents have had years to perfect the best recipes we’ve learned to know and love. Ask the grandparents of your family to send you their favorite recipes they’ve developed over the years and try your hand at making them.
If your grandparents want to get involved in the cooking or baking process, invite them over and walk them through the various steps of the recipe. Make sure to have all the family members get involved, including the grandchildren (if they’re old enough).
We want as many generations as possible to pass down these family favorites, and no one can teach them how to do the recipe quite as well as grandma or grandpa.
Not to mention, if you cook from home, you’ve introduced everyone to a healthier meal than eating out. And if you don’t eat out, you allow for someone who works at a restaurant to possibly have the day off to celebrate Grandparents Day with his or her own family.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Mace Hudson
3. Watch Grandma or Grandpa’s Favorite Movie
Maybe they watched a movie together on a first date in the theater or were fond of a particular flick as a child-- but let them suggest a movie they enjoyed when they were younger for the whole family to watch.
Not only can younger kids get a chance to relive the past alongside Grandma and Grandpa and get exposed to a movie they may not see on their own time, but this can bring the whole family together for inexpensive, but quality entertainment.
If you cannot find the movie you want to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or another subscription you may possibly have, check it out at your local library.
Even get a little more creative with this and pop your own popcorn at home on the stove.
Of course, make sure the movie is age appropriate. Although many movies in the past are not as violent, promiscuous, or crass as the ones we see in theaters today, some of the littles may not be mature enough to view the movie.
In those cases, break out Grandma and Grandpa’s favorite board game they liked to play when they were younger.
4. Highlight Favorite Bible Verses
God’s lovingkindness lasts for generations Psalm (103:17). The verse mention’s children’s children, indicating grandchildren and further generations.
Purchase a Bible and have everyone in the family (extended family included) highlight their favorite Bible verses in different colors and hand those to the grandparents. If you purchase a Bible with wide margins for taking notes, you can leave inscriptions by the highlighted verses, so they know who was impacted by those words and why.
On the reverse, grandparents can also provide their grandchildren with a Bible and verses that impacted their spiritual walk with the Lord.
1 Peter 3:15 commands us to be ready to give a reason for the hope we have.
Testimonies are extremely important in one’s Christian walk, no matter what their age. In addition to highlighting favorite Bible verses, have Grandma and Grandpa sit with the grandchildren and talk about their personal testimonies in their Christian walk.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jeremy Yap
5. Host a Themed Story Hour
We go to our grandparents for wisdom and loads of wonderful stories they’ve experienced throughout their lives.
On Grandparents day, have a jar of different adjectives on small slips of paper such as “funny” “scary” “happy”, etc. Whenever Grandma or Grandpa plucks a piece of paper out of the jar, they have to tell a story that happened to them based on the adjective in the jar.
You can also do a variation of this activity by writing specific events, “wedding day,” “first car,” “first job,” etc.
Whether we watch Grandpa’s favorite movie or highlight verses together, these activities can help us honor our grandparents and spend more time with the family. Instead of going out to a crowded restaurant where we can barely hear each other over the din of voices, we can opt for these fun activities at home that can produce wonderful memories to tell at future Themed Story Hours.
Hope Bolingeris a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 400 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, “Blaze,” (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel “Den” for July 2020. Find out more about her here.
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