Cheatsgiving: 9 Rules For Grandparents To Follow At The Holidays So They Get Invited Back Next Year

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When a parent becomes a grandparent, a series of chemical reactions take place in the human brain. This release of hormones (endorphins, oxytocin, etc) is known to contribute to what is generally referred to as “The Grandparent Effect” – grandparents doing whatever the hell they want with no regard to consequences all in the name of love.

Obviously, I’m joking, and I fully appreciate the amazing love Grandparents give. But the hormone cocktail would help explain some of the bizarre grandparent behavior I’ve both experienced first-hand and heard about from friends that seems to peak at the holidays. In fact, it’s one of the biggest complaints I hear new parents talking about: “Why do my child’s grandparents think they can do whatever they want with my kid just because it’s Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza? They should know better!” Or, to quote a friend, “Why are there candy cane flakes in my 8-month-old’s neck rolls?? She doesn’t even have teeth!”

If the grandparents are coming to town this holiday season, you may want to post this list up on your soon-to-be goodie-stuffed fridge. Or better yet, print it out and send it to them anonymously BEFORE all hell breaks loose at the “most wonderful time of the year.” Here’s what I’m telling my kids’ grandparents this winter:

Rule #1: Presents are acceptable ON holidays.



In my family, we celebrate Christmas. That means Christmas Day is the only acceptable day for gift-giving. Not the entire week leading up to Christmas, nor the whole week after. Between Christmas parties, guests stopping by, classmates and friends who enjoy giving our children presents, my kids have already received a buttload of crap long before Christmas morning. So if you are spending Christmas with us, please reserve your presents FOR THE ACTUAL HOLIDAY. It’s a DAY. A holiDAY. Not a holiWEEK. Definitely not a holiMONTH. With the exception of say, a pair of Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve, have a cup of cocoa and relax on the gift-giving. I know it’s hard to wait, but if the kids can do it so can you.

Rule #2: Huge purchases need pre-approval.



I know you like to do everything over-the-top. You like to give the BEST gifts and totally blow ours out of the water every year. It’s cool. We don’t mind coming in second, or third, or fourth (our kids have a lot of grandparents). But if you’re buying them a dollhouse or a princess palace, please ask us to make sure there is somewhere to put it beside under the dining room table. Also, iPads, iPhones and anything else that gives you pause before purchasing requires a phone call and a gift receipt.

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