I had wonderful, sweet, loving grandparents. I loved knowing them and feel them with me still. I’m also adopted, so I have another set of grandparents that I never even met. And yet, I also feel like every inch your history and DNA is embedded in your soul. You might not even know what you got from one grandparent or another, but every person in your life has added something to help you become who you are today.
This is one of the sets of grandparents I never met.
Aren’t they cute? ha! I think they’re adorable. I see different parts of me in them at times. I imagine what it would have been like to share some time with them.
I think grandparents are important. So how can you honor them? Here are some ideas.
Knowing your family tree can help you celebrate the traits you share with siblings and grandparents as well as appreciate the unique qualities every family member adds. Here are ten ways you can celebrate your family history with things like recipes, grandparent names, and more.
Hang a Picture Wall to Show Your Family Lineage
I’ve done this and love it! I created a family picture wall from all our families and every time I walk past it I feel a sense of joy. Do you have some old pictures of your grandparents from back in the day? Create an entire wall of black and white photos framed in silver or pewter frames. This will give the wall a uniform look, and every time you pass it you’ll be able to pay homage to your grandparents.
An even better idea is to find out the stories behind the pictures if you can, and share them with new people who enter your home. Every one stops at our wall when they come in, and I love showing my favorite pictures and why they mean so much to me. It helps me keep my grandparents’ spirit alive and welcome in my home.
Name Your Child After a Grandparent
There’s something very special about being named after a cherished relative. Tell your children why you named them after your parent or grandparent, and make sure you pass along the stories from them as well. Besides, names from our grandparents age have become popular once again.
Learn Family Recipes and the Stories That Go With
This is something else I’ve done a lot. Each time I made my grandmother’s cranberries I tell the story of when she made it. Part of the fun of making a favorite dish that is passed along from one generation to the next is hearing the stories behind it. That includes how the recipe came to be, who decided to add to it or change it along the way, and even some of the times the dish turned out to be a disaster.
Turn a Favorite Recipe Into a Dish Towel
It isn’t enough to just make a favorite dish year after year. Make sure your grandma’s favorite recipes are written down and shared. One fun way to do this is by taking a handwritten recipe and turning it into a tea towel, like this example on Spoonflower. Seeing the handwriting of someone special makes the recipe that much more special.
Learn About Your Grandparents Childhood
Some grandparents are eager to share the particular details of their upbringing while others aren’t. This is especially true if there is something painful in their past. But learning about their childhood can help you get a complete picture of who your grandparents are as people, and this will help you remember and think of them as you’re going about your daily routine.
Wear a Piece of Grandma’s Jewelry
If your grandma had a favorite ring, bracelet, or brooch, for example, see if you can find a way to update it. You could take apart an old necklace and make a new bracelet out of it, for example. Or take an old scarf and update it with a new outfit. Wearing a personal item from your grandma or grandpa can help you think of them throughout the day.
Use Quotes From Your Grandparents
Did your grandparents have a funny phrase they liked to say often? Maybe they greeted people a certain way, expressed frustration with the same block of words, or always chose the same prayer at a family dinner. (My grandma, who was Easter European, had several that I say to this day.)
Learn About the Culture Behind Your Family Tree
Every family has a story about their culture and background. What’s your grandparents nationality? What traditions did they keep or break? Take a class or go to a folk fair to learn the traditions they grew up with, and see how many of these you can teach to your children.
Celebrate Your Grandparent’s Special Days
What day did your grandparents meet? When did they get engaged? If you know some of the more unique dates of their personal history, make a point to acknowledge them in some way. Perhaps you sit at dinner and tell your kids why a particular date is important, or maybe you send a note to your siblings reminding them of something your grandparents did on a certain day. Doing this is another way to build a tradition and stay connected with your family.
Think and Talk About Them Often
Keep your family legacy alive by talking about your grandparents, telling others, and creating a verbal history with your kids and siblings. Make sure the people who came before you are honored in the best way possible.