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Last Updated: Sunday, September 09, 2007, 00:00
  
Grandparents’ DaySalome Phelamei

Today is Grandparents’ Day.

It is observed on the second Sunday in Sept of every year. Its purpose is to honour grandparents and older citizens, allowing them to express and show their love for their grandchildren or even adopted grandchildren.

Grandparents’ Day celebration originated with Mrs. Marian H. McQuade of Fayette County, West Virginia. She dedicated her life to selfless advocacy for senior citizens, the elderly, and the homebound. McQuade is a mother of 15 children, grandmother to 40 and great-grandmother to eight .Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly people in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.

The first Grandparents’ Day was proclaimed by Governor Arch Moore in West Virginia, 1973. Five years after its inception in 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced National Grandparents’ Day a National holiday .

Celebrating Grandparents’ Day

Grandparents need recognition.Unfortunately some people don’t see grandparents as being as valuable to their family structure as are mothers and fathers, who certainly get a lot of attention on their special days.Well, of course, many grandparents get recognized and pampered by their grandchildren .It is the duty of the children to honour and make them them feel special on their special day. The love and care bestowed upon their little ones should not be forgotten.

Celebrations may varied from families to families. Some prefer small, private gatherings, others plan reunions.It is not just for a mere gifts and flowers. For those who entertain larger groups, it can be fun to create a story-telling, allowing grandparents to relate stories of their past, enlightening children about “the good old days.” Picnics and lunch box socials can add much delight to the celebration.It also includes an update of family albums and pictures during such reunions. Children have fun in identifying and putting all photos in old family albums, while they have someone to ask. So that many happy memories can be derived from this in years ahead. It is a time to discover one’s root and learn patience and understanding for the elderly.It is also interesting to take a census, such as oldest and newest grandchildren, family with the most grandchildren, or five generation families.



Apart from this, this is an opportunity for grandparents to pass down a special skill, hobby or interest. Whether it is preparing a family recipe, quilting or genealogy, it can be shared with family members. It could also be a family traditions, music, songs, dances or even beliefs. Grandparents are a wealth of information, rich in history. The knowledge acquired from them helps in maintaining a strong bond of family background.

Remembering shut-ins

Along with Grandparents Day, one should not forget shut-ins and those in nursing homes who are unable to be with their families or have no families. Every effort must be made to include these people.Even simple acknowledgements such as a card or a phone call can brighten their hearts. There are many grandparents who would love to be a ‘Foster Grandparent’, and it’s not a bad idea to adopt a grandparent for a children.

Thus, Grandparents’ Day is valuable

A Grandparents’ Day celebration in any form is to cultivate intergenerational activities.It offers a special time in a year to think about being a grandparent, a time of sharing their values with their families and society.It is also good for grandparents to assess the state of their grandparenthood. A real Grandparents’ Day is a day for grandparents and the family to reflect about grandparents’ place and roles. It is a day of giving-giving of self, sharing hopes, dreams and values, setting an example for future generations, and having fun with grandchildren.

“Nobody can do for a little children what grandparents do.Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children,” praised Writer Alex Haley.


First Published: Sunday, September 09, 2007, 00:00


(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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