Christmas Shopping for Strangers

100 words about buying presents for estranged family members
(c) Etol Bagam for FFfAW, week 45

She’s put on her warm coat out of habit. There’s no need, she’ll be stewing in the shops. Drizzly, though. She opens her red umbrella.

Maybe she shouldn’t bother. She sends the parcels tracked, she knows they arrive. Do the clothes fit, she wonders. Do the children like their books and toys? The twins will be teenagers soon, then she’ll really struggle for presents.

It’s not that she demands a thank you. It’d be nice to hear she spends money on the right things. Maybe a card, with a photo.

Because she doesn’t know what her grandchildren look like anymore.


37 thoughts on “Christmas Shopping for Strangers

  1. Very nice story, Sonya. I’ve recently been given the opportunity to care for my aging grandmother. People ask me how I manage the burden. I tell them I’m thrilled to be able to give back to a woman that did so much for me. Thanks for reminding us all of the beauty of grandmothers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve just reminded me ( not that I could forget) how fortunate I am. Five grandsons, and they all live within easy walking distance. I see them all the time – apart from the fifteen year old, but there’s nothing strange in that. He’s fifteen. None of us see much of him. :I
    I love the story, and the responses to it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is sad. This poor lady is estranged but still always thinks of her grandchildren. If the parents had taught them better, they would phone their Grandma up and thank her. Or if they thought to be thankful at all. Great story, very sad!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I really admire this as a piece of excellent writing. You have a real talent for developing an idea and the ending is so effective. Personally it really hits home and you have captured the pathos of the character’s disconnection with her family so sensitively. Thank you for the great read and very best wishes for the season! TJ


  5. It’s sad that family members can not even acknowledge a gift being given. The parents are responsible for their lack of graciousness. Children should be taught early on about thanking people. Maybe they are not on good terms with the grandmother, but that is no excuse for rudeness, nor is it one because they are living at such a distance apart. Wonderful story of how relationships are in some families.


  6. Everyone here has said it, but it’s such a sad story about how people grow apart and how family relationships are sometimes limited to Holidays, and gifts and cards. It makes me wonder why did they stop caring, why don’t they bother even sending a card or acknowledging the main character. What’s their story? Maybe I’m just uncomfortable at the thought they genuinely don’t care, so I’m looking for a reason. Nicely written in any case 🙂


  7. Oh how sad, but an apt reminder to us all…keep in touch with your grandparents! Call, visit (and not only during the holidays!)… when it comes to the elderly, all they mostly crave for is company! 🙂


  8. Sad. It almost feel a bit personal too, as I live 7,000 miles away from my kids grandparents. They’re still able to come visit us often, but I wonder until when, as they grew older… (maybe I should consider going ourselves to visit them? The problem is that 4 tickets make it expensive and the violence where they live freaks us out, especially if we go with kids…)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sad. How old are your grandchildren? Mine are grown up now and have a life of their own with my Great Grandchildren. I usually only see them when we have a family gathering, like Christmas.
    I do miss those days when they were young but life goes on, it’s up to use to start doing something new, then we won’t miss them so much. Smile, and keep writing that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, it’s fiction! I don’t have grandchildren, my daughter is only five. But both her grandmothers aren’t exactly around the corner, so I took some creative licence with the facts.
      Thank you for your kind words, though 🙂


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