Grandparents Day. Is it a Hallmark holiday? No, not really. But it sure is made into one. I confirmed at the National Grandparents Day website that Marian McQuade did indeed initiate the holiday, which became official in 1978 as the Sunday after Labor Day. Grandparents Day is meant as an opportunity to show love to our grandparents, for grandparents to show love for their children’s children, and for all of us to respect and acknowledge the contribution our elders make in our lives.

My paternal grandmother and great-grandparents were Nana, Mamie, and Papaw. My maternal grandparents were Grandma and Grandad. I cannot imagine what my life would have been without them. Not only did they do the fun things like unlimited Twinkies and annual trips to Silver Dollar City (which later became Dollywood) and the State Fair and lots of shopping, but they also did a lot of the parental things. They listened when I needed listening. They bought my first bras, they taught me to read. And to love reading. They taught me the rewards of hard work and a steady work ethic.

I can only hope that they felt the same appreciation and gratitude from me that they did then. They are all passed now. There is an emptiness that I don’t know will ever be filled. And I don’t think I want it filled. It is my intention to take what they taught me, gave me, nurtured in me and be the best mom and later grandmom I can be.

SO…after that rather personal note…in preparation for Grandparents Day in a few weeks, skip the Hallmark store. And skip the grocery store card aisle. Have your kids (and YOU!) make a card from construction paper and maybe try this VERY simple and VERY elegant frame at Design*Sponge. A handmade gift and a special photo warms the heart far more than a gift card.