Communicating with grandchildren at Christmas

Christmas is coming, but working out what on Earth grandchildren want is a job all in itself, says blogger Jill.



Organising Christmas presents for the grandchildren can be a job in its own right, especially when you have no idea what the presents they want are as one grandparent writes…

‘A Nintendo Switch is 1080p on the tv and in handheld mode it is 720p but the 3DS is 720p or 480p,’ said grandson patiently. He’d made a Christmas list – hurrah, I thought, and it had 24 things on it, all neatly numbered. But what were they exactly? So I’d asked him and he had started at the top. But, oh god, what in blazes was he on about? He took a deep breath as if to launch into the second item on the list. ‘Hang on,’ I said, ‘I’d better take notes’ – well, it’s easy to get bewildered when ordering on the internet. ‘Do you know how to spell Nintendo?’ he asked helpfully. Hm. ‘Number 2, gran: an IR camera is built into the joycon and it captures screenshots.’ Not particularly illuminating. ‘Number 3: a switch pro-controller is better than a joycon as it moulds into your hand.’ I was glazing over already and there were only 21 more to go.

Unfortunately, Christmas list-making grandchildren are thin on the ground after the age of 12 so I sent a text and, just in case, a Whatsapp one to teenage granddaughters 2 and 3. I was trying to cut out the middle man, ie my daughter, who’s life, like that of all working parents, goes completely manic in the lead-up to Christmas.

However, a couple of days later, not a single solitary so-and-soing text or blue tick had come from the teenagers. I rang their mobiles which rang on and on from a bottomless pit of nothingness. I did voice messages – nada, zero, zilch. I was a bit worried my blood pressure was on the rise, but I’m on the tablets. I rang their landline and my daughter answered. ’Daughter 3 doesn’t want money and she’s made a list,’ she started. ‘No, I haven’t,’ came a voice from the sofa.

Granddaughters 2 and 3 are into K-pop big time. No, it’s not a new crispy breakfast cereal – it’s South Korean pop music and two androgenous boy bands, BTS and NCT have taken over their bedroom walls, the living room tele and now what they want for Christmas. Eventually they sent me online links and stuff came up covered with fetching South Korean characters. As a general rule, I like to know what I’m giving people, but by this point I was past caring – it was only a few days to Christmas and, as far as I could tell, some things had to wing their way from South Korea.

Grandson will be a teenager in c. four years’ time, but I’m trying not to think what that’ll be like just yet. But could there be could be light at the end of the tunnel? I sent granddaughter 1, who is at university, a Whatsapp message asking her what she wants for Christmas. She replied straight away and I understood what she wanted – yippee!

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