In my experience, grandparents are an endless source of joy. They constantly tell you you’re amazing, they’re genuinely overjoyed by a simple phone call from you, they take you to the park and bake you cupcakes every time you come over – AND they have a unique ability to be so bad at choosing presents for you that it’s truly a pleasure to unwrap them.
To be fair, my grandparents on both sides were normally pretty on the money. Like, literally, they’d give us money in a card because who doesn’t want that?
However, there was that one fateful year that my very conservative grandma decided her teenage grandkids should all have sexy Playboy PJs for Christmas – think lacy, skimpy and very see-through. I still can’t explain what caused the change and she was right back to cash and scented soaps the next year. As you can imagine, this has become the stuff of legends in our family.
If you ever needed more motivation to convince your grandparents to skip the pressies and stick to sending you money, here are some more tales from around the office.
My grandma once gave me wet ones, and I honestly deserve an oscar for the performance I gave. There was no explanation – maybe she thought I needed a shower but didn’t know where one was?
My grandma was about to hand me $50. Instead, she asked me if I’d rather give it to people who need it more and it went into the Church collection. My dad wasn’t impressed and made her give me $50 anyway. I was 10 years old.
My great-uncle would always give each cousin an entire bag of fun-sized Cadbury bars. That’s like 20 mini Cadbury bars for EACH CHILD. It’s a miracle we all have our original teeth at this point.
My grandparents would buy us shares, but only as many as our age that year (i.e. 14 shares when I was 14). Oh, and one year my grandma gave me a large picnic basket full of Sesame Snaps. I don’t like Sesame Snaps, but I enjoyed the basket.
The weirdest thing my pop gave me was the exact same beach towel every year for five years.
My Oma and Opa gave every one of their grandchildren, including me, the exact same present every year – three cushioned-satin coat hangers and a $20 note wrapped in aluminium foil.
My nan has always given me cash in a card because she’s the best – but she does make an effort to sign off from every member of the household, including her cat and two chickens.
My grandparents used to give me $10 in 10 and 20 cent coins every year.
My great-grandma called me over while she was eating chocolates one Christmas, so I assumed she was giving me a chocolate too – she gave me the wrapper of her chocolate and asked me to throw it in the bin.
My grandma gave me a Barbie backpack and cap when I was 16. I definitely wasn’t into barbies at this point, but it was still a vibe.
My grandma gave me this really spooky witch one time. It had a sensor and when you moved near it, it would start cackling and its eyes would light up red. Apparently, it was supposed to bring good luck and scare the bad spirits away, but it actually just freaked me TF out.
One year my nan slipped a picture of Jesus into my Christmas card… but not my brother’s.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the misguided effort of Grandparents when they’re trying to work out what the hell you’re into these days – the results are always sweet and hilarious. Never change.