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Longstanding tradition of honoring grandparents

While there is a day to honor grandparents set aside by officialdom (the Sunday after Labor Day) the winter holidays are a good time to honor them as well, because of the closeness of the family at that time of year.

The idea for Grandparents Day came from a West Virginia housewife named Marian McQuade. In 1970, McQuade initiated a campaign to set aside a day to commemorate grandparents and all they do for their children and grandchildren. By 1973, the first Grandparents Day was proclaimed by then West Virginia Governor Arch Moore. The campaign had also begun to take on a national approach. Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) introduced a resolution in 1973 on the senate floor. However, the resolution languished there for several years.

Just like she had been for getting Grandparents Day recognized in West Virginia, McQuade proved instrumental in doing so on the national level as well. While Randolph's resolution sat idle in the Senate, McQuade worked to garner media support while also contacting governors, senators and congressmen in every state. By 1978, McQuade's labors had paid off when the proclamation for a National Grandparents Day was signed by President Jimmy Carter.

Today it seems that grandparents are younger than in times past; not only chronologically, but also in their lifestyles. So events which can be used to celebrate grandparents during the winter can be more than just a dinner on Christmas Eve or a good party on New Years Day.

Many grandparents nowadays are very active; leading lives of athletic competition and travel.

Ideas? Hold a winter holiday just for them with the family tagging along to a ski resort. Or if snow isn't their thing, book a trip south for a golf outing during the holidays.

But even traditional celebrations can incorporate how much grandparents mean. The main thing is not to forget that Christmas isn't just for kids, but is for everyone from babies to centurians.

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