Simple Ways To Celebrate Grandparents
This Sunday is Grandparents Day, and whether grandparents are near or far, there are many simple yet meaningful ways to express your appreciation for these beloved family members. Here are some of my favorite ways to honor grandparents, for this weekend and beyond.
1. Pick up the phone
This is the one of the easiest, yet often forgotten, ways to show that you and your kids care. My mom's favorite thing is when I call her, even if we only chat for a few minutes.
2. Share a parenting memory
You and your parents likely will have different perspectives on your growing up, and your perspective on their parenting also probably has shifted now that you’re a parent. Whether in written or verbal form, share a childhood memory with your parent(s). If relevant, tie the memory in to something you have experienced with your kids.
3. Pay your respects
Some might find this a little odd, but I always make a point of asking Laurel and Violet whether they would like to join me when I visit the Koh family plot to pay respects to my father and grandparents at various points throughout the year. These experiences have helped remove the stigma around talking about death, and also have fostered my kids' appreciation for extended family, both living and deceased. Sometimes we will bring flowers and also artwork, photos, or kids' notes (in plastic Ziploc bags) to leave graveside.
4. Share a photo or video
Whether it's just a photo or video via text or email or an actual photo gift (e.g., photo calendar), my mom + in-laws LOVE photo or video shares and gifts! On Laurel's birthday this week I emailed my Mom + in-laws a photo of the three of them holding Laurel the day she came home from the hospital and many happy tears ensued!
5. Gift kiddie art
Give the precious gift of kiddie art while fostering your child’s love for color and sensory projects! I'm truly amazed...my Mom and my in-laws hang EVERYTHING the girls have ever made them.
6. Give a clutter-free gift
If you want to give a grown-up type gift, I'm a big fan of clutter-free gifts! Quite frankly, Koreans are all about the cash gift (my Mom's favorite!) but I also love gifting usable things like a massage session or high use items such as yummy smelling soaps or gourmet food items.
7. Enjoy physical activity together
Among the best things that older folks can do is to keep active, both physically and cognitively (the latter through reading, crosswords, etc.). If grandparents are local, meet up for a walk or a gentle hike.
8. Come together around food
Coming from an upbringing where my mother cooked an amazing amount of meals for a ridiculous number of people, I really value coming together around food. Make a meal or bring food over; keep it simple (takeout is perfectly fine!).
9. Help with a home project
Give the gift of your technological skills, handiness, or general ability to run errands quickly, by helping with a home project!