By Christina Bhattacharya
Grandparents are invaluable and incomparable people. If you were fortunate enough to have a grandparent growing up, you know the special bond that develops between grandparent and grandchild. From their incredible accomplishments and contributions to those heartfelt and cherished memories, we are lucky to benefit from their wisdom.
Grandparents Day– September 11th– is a wonderful reminder for each of us to show love and appreciation to our grandparents. Signed into law in 1979 by President Carter and celebrated the first Sunday following Labor Day, this holiday is a special day to commemorate maternal and paternal grandparents and their many contributions to our lives. Here are some Grandparent's Day activities that are great for honoring grandparents and creating memories together.
Teach a Skill
The importance of “life skills" fluctuates each generation. A once vital ability may now be an overlooked talent. While you may be able to navigate a tablet, laptop, or smartphone naturally to complete almost any task, you may have never learned how to bake, knit, or garden, which were commonplace for your grandparents when they were growing up.
Connecting through hobbies and activities can be a terrific way to spend time with your grandparents and learn about each other. The idea is that both generations gather together to teach each other skills. For example, ask your grandparent to teach you to how to make a treasured family recipe and reciprocate by showing them how to use an activity tracker or other tech tool.
Adult grandchildren and their grandparents can significantly bond through modern technology. For the computer-savvy, the internet can create a new mode of communication. Teaching your grandparent how to use email, instant messaging, and video conferencing can help to reduce the miles and keep your grandparent in touch with family members worldwide.
The distance may separate, but you can celebrate Grandparent's Day with your grandparent by gifting them an easy-to-use phone to communicate and virtually swap skills, stories, and creative activities.
Write a Life Story
Looking for a Grandparents Day activity you can look back on for years to come? One of the indicators of an abundant life are the stories, experiences, and memories that are remembered, told, and re-lived during a lifetime. One way to capture the essence of your grandparents' lives is by helping them record their life story for future generations.
Drawing from their collection of often-told tales, start by recording genealogical and family life stories such as birth stories, stories about siblings and grandparents, favorite childhood memories. In addition, ask about life lessons, personal beliefs, mottos, and core values; where they were on important days in history; and accomplishments of which they are the proudest. Compile these recorded stories into a self-published memoir or use a mobile app like StoryCorp available for Apple and Android devices to be shared for generations to come. (For more ideas on putting your story together, read our post on Capturing a Legacy).
Our grandparents are the keepers of our family's history. Writing a life story captures the invaluable, touching, and truly memorable legacy of your grandparent's life. This living history can bring gratification, satisfaction, and closure in the later stages of life for future generations.
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