Village Voice

Five ways to celebrate National Grandparents Day this Sunday

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Five ways to celebrate National Grandparents Day this Sunday

Did you know that Sunday 28 October is New Zealand National Grandparents Day?

National Grandparents Day is an opportunity to honour grandparents and members of the senior community.

Whether you are a grandparent, have grandparents, or are considering participating in the Surrogate Grandparents initiative, this day is a chance to appreciate the special bond that grandparents and grandchildren share.

Village Guide founder Paula Bishop says she is happy to see New Zealanders embrace National Grandparents Day and hopes it will become as widely celebrated as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the years to come.

“National Grandparents Day provides the perfect opportunity for us to stop and reflect on the importance of relationships at all ages and stages. I credit Jo Hayes and the work she is doing to promote events across the country to celebrate, such as intergenerational coffee groups,” says Paula.

“I’d love to see the day continue to gain awareness and become a widely celebrated occasion in New Zealand.”

Here are five ways to celebrate National Grandparents Day this Sunday.

1. Spend quality time with family

The first National Grandparents Day was initiated in the United States in the 1970s by a woman called Marian McQuade.

Mrs McQuade wanted this day to be about family, first and foremost. She envisioned a day where families would get together over a picnic or a meal. She wanted the day to bring families closer, and that spirit lives on in 2018.

Grandparents Day is an opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones, and to honour family members who are no longer with you. It’s not the size or scale of the event that matters: it’s the quality time spent enjoying each other’s company.

2. Attend a National Grandparents Day event

There are National Grandparents Day events happening all over the country: click here to find an event near you.

Attending an event is a great way to meet other people in your community and to celebrate together.

Keep in mind that not everyone has family nearby, so your presence at an event could offer people comfort on what might have otherwise been a difficult day.

3. Learn more about the Surrogate Grandparents initiative

Many people miss out on the joy of having or being a grandparent. Others live far away from family and may experience feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Surrogate Grandparents is a charitable trust that connects families with surrogate grandparents, helping to fight social isolation and bridge the gap between generations.

Participating in this initiative can be life-changing for everyone involved. The surrogate grandparents get to experience the pure joy of spending time around children, the children get to learn from older people in their community, and the parents get the support of a motherly or fatherly figure that they may be missing.

“It has made such a difference to my family knowing we have someone we can call on, someone who has always got our back,” says Surrogate Grandparents founder Jo Hayes.

“The benefits for the surrogates are just as great. Being a surrogate grandparent provides purpose, new friendships, companionship and that feeling of being needed all over again. It truly is a win-win all around.”

To learn more about requesting or becoming a surrogate grandparent, visit: www.surrogategrandparents.org.nz.

4. Attend a Metlifecare Open Day

Metlifecare is opening the doors of all its retirement villages to celebrate National Grandparents Day.

Visit a Metlifecare village near you for village tours, light refreshments, and treats for the whole family (young ones will love the free balloons!). Villages will be open from 10am to 3pm and guided tours will be running throughout the day.

Metlifecare general marketing manager Julie Garlick says the company is proud to be a National Grandparents Day founding supporter.

“Metlifecare is proud to be a founding supporter of National Grandparents Day. We warmly welcome grandparents, their children and grandchildren to celebrate the day in any of our villages, with great food and great entertainment for young and old alike.” Metlifecare's General Manager Marketing says “Metlifecare are proud to be a founding supporter of National Grandparents day. We warmly welcome grandparents, their children and grandchildren to celebrate the day in any of our villages, with great food and great entertainment for young and old alike.”

Click here to find a Metlifecare village near you.

5. Take a moment to appreciate older people

Older people are a tremendous source of strength, wisdom, and guidance. National Grandparents Day is an opportunity to pause and reflect on everyone in the senior community.

Whether you’re in your early 20s or enjoying retirement yourself, take a moment to stop and speak to someone older than you on National Grandparents Day. You might chat to someone at the supermarket, drop some baking to a neighbour, or wave a friendly hello on the street.

Never underestimate the power of a smile, eye contact, and a pleasant greeting to make someone’s day.