Classic Things Everyone’s Grandparents Did!

By Rylee 8 months ago

1. Magnets on the fridge

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And we’re not just talking about any magnets. Previous vacation destination ones were commonly placed across my grandparents’ house, my friend’s parent’s house, and basically everyone else’s grandparent’s houses. In all fairness to them, these were kind of cute and adorable.

2. Your grandparents knitting

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Old folks have a rather curious penchant for quilting and knitting at large. I’m pretty sure you have a wardrobe brimming with warm sweaters that your grandma kept constantly supplying you with. Heck, I have amassed enough of them over the years that I’m well-stocked to start my store.

3. Ribbon candy in the bowl

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There’s no sugarcoating it. Ribbon candy in the bowl was a pretty common sighting across most of our grandparent’s living rooms, and most of us wondered why! We might never find out, but every time I come across them today, the childhood memories just keep flooding back.

4. Cool Whip as Tupperware

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Who needs food containers when you’ve got suitable old Cool Whip containers? Your grandparents probably used Cool Whip cases to store their leftovers, and they sure had the right idea. Not only is this easy on the wallet, but the planet, too. It’s a habit I picked up as well & I’m not ashamed to admit it.

5. They spoilt you rotten

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I always looked forward to visiting my grandparents. We got to watch TV later than usual. Ice cream could count as dinner. We got away with much more than we should have, and they rarely said no to our crazy ideas. When our parents declined a request, we knew who to call.

6. Birds as a pastime

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My grandpa was a walking encyclopedia when it came to birding. I swear he spent so much time with birds that he could pinpoint each one by differences in their feathers. But, hey, what’s not to love about birds? They are gentle, beautiful creatures and a fountain of sweet melodies.

7. They had the best dad jokes

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“I used to have an origami business,“ my grandpa would say. “What happened?” I’d ask. To which my grandpa would reply, “It folded!”. (Don’t deny it, I heard that giggle!) Sure, our grandparents didn’t have the funniest jokes, but spending time with them was never dull.

8. Your grandparents took you fishing

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Fishing isn't just about casting the net but forging a deep connection with nature. Grandparents understand this well and pass down this age-old practice as a way to introduce their grandchildren to the wonders of the great outdoors. The simple act of sitting on a dock, the riverbank, or a boat with a grandparent created an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.

9. Chairs with skirts

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It’s understandable. Furniture covers protect the fabric from dirt, especially our grubby fingers. But did they all need that skirt design, with fabric hanging over chair legs like a maxi dress? Like the pyramids of Giza, their affinity for these covers will remain a mystery.

10. They had cookie jars

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Did your grandparents ever bake or make pastry? I bet my bottom dollar that they did. If there’s one thing my grandma never ran out of, it was cookies- and, of course, hugs. Her delicious cookie recipes had us traveling hundreds of miles just for a visit. And boy, did she make them worthwhile.

11. There was always pie in the oven

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Still, on things never in short supply in your grandparent’s house, pie in the oven had become a common sighting for most of us growing up. I instantly knew something was off whenever I visited, and I was not welcomed by the scent of freshly made double-crust apple pie.

12. Recipes locked away in a jar

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My grandma guarded her secret Chocolate cake recipe with her life. The way she looked over it, I always wondered whether it was a list of nuclear codes in there rather than a list of key ingredients. She handed down the recipe to my mom, who was also sworn to secrecy.

13. Plates as art

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According to our grand folks, plates were meant for more than just the dining table. They served a higher purpose, too, as an accessory for interior décor. Vintage plates dangling on empty walls injected some old-world charm. These were pretty typical in our grandparent’s home.

14. Sewing

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The clanking of a sewing machine was synonymous with our grandparent’s homes. Memories of childhood keep rushing back whenever you spot the old sewing machine. Grandma was always crafting new summer fabric for us, a dress for my sister’s baby doll, or working on something quirky.

15. They played board games

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Your grandparents didn’t have the fancy video games of today or sophisticated smartphones. They had to pass the time by conventional means, such as board games. They knew the best puzzles and could beat you at Scrabble or Ludo. Which board game reminds you most of your grandparents?

16. Your grandparents told the best stories

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Your grandpa wasn’t just good at weaving quilts. He could also weave tales that gave James Cameron a run for his money. Sure, some didn’t quite conform to the rules of physics or reality, but you’re always sure you were in for a great story whenever they asked you to pull up a chair.

17. Rocking chair on the front porch

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Back in the day, once you were past a certain age, you just had to have a rocking chair on your patio. Or, at the very least, a set of cane loungers. It was like some unwritten rite of passage. To be fair, these rocking chairs were super awesome. They offered peace of mind.

18. They had lace curtains

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What lace curtains lack in aesthetic appeal, they make it up with the ability to keep tabs on what the neighbors are up to. Lace curtains may have gone out of style, but they’ll never go out of our hearts. I’m sure you can still find a couple stored away around your grandparent’s house.

19. A collection of fine China

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When my grandma took out the China, I knew something special was about to go down or someone important was dropping by. These rustic pieces of kitchenware were a cutlery statement reserved for royalty. You would get a stern talking to if they caught you playing tea party with them.

20. An oasis of wisdom

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“Just as a grandparent’s love grows with age, so does wisdom.” Your grandparents gave the best advice. They knew what to do always, and would bail you out of a jam and calm your soul with a strategic selection of words.  Our grandparents were not just treasure troves of knowledge. They were wise.

21. Buying an Antique clock

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Granddads always have an antique clock. Antique clocks have been passed down across generations for decades. Antique clocks are more than just timekeeping devices; they are exquisite works of art. Each tells a unique story through its design, materials, and intricate mechanisms.

22. Gnomes in the garden

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Traditionally, gnomes are thought to attract good luck, abundance, and fertility. That’s why your grandparent’s garden never lacked an ornamental gnome. Legend has it that gnomes nourish and protect plant life, thus giving your grandma that green thumb she always brags about.

23. Telling the weather by barometer

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Nowadays, you can unlock your phone, and it will tell you everything about the weather, including the types of clouds in the sky. Your grandparents didn’t have it that easy. That’s why they relied on barometers – available in various designs. My granddad had one mounted in his living room.

24. Knitting on a teapot

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The flashy electric kettles you know and love were unheard of. Our grandparents had to get creative. They had teapot knitting, which would help keep the liquid inside warm for longer. I loved to test out whether the cozy knitting could double up as a winter hat when left unattended.

25. They kept a packed pantry

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My pantry is usually so empty that I hear echoes when cooking. For our grandparents, though, filling the pantry with various ingredients was a hobby. From endless jars of unidentifiable substances to tin cans from 20 years ago, the shelves were always crowded.

26. A fluffy toilet seat cover

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I always found it weird that my grandparents had furnishings on the toilet cover. Would someone go into the bathroom with the sole purpose of relaxing atop it? Did they use it for extra seating during a full house? As bewildering as they may be, these are the sights that say, classic grandma.

27. They had a garden swing bench

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Happy hour on a garden swing bench with my grandpa was always amazing. Catching the late spring breeze and getting entertained by the goofy antics of wild birds, I understand why most grandparents kept a garden swing bench somewhere in their backyards. I have one, too.

28. Collecting encyclopedias

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Millennials nowadays collect NFTs and digital art. Your grandparents collected Encyclopedias, all the way from A through Z. They may feel weird by today’s standards, but before the internet and Wikipedia, these books were the internet. So don’t scoff at your granny’s wall of encyclopedias.

29. They had The Yellow Pages

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“Let your fingers do the walking.” Remember that? Back before you had phones with contact lists, your grandparents relied on the Yellows Pages for important contact details. From a trusty handyman to a TV store, this book was a lifesaver and was always kept within eye view.

30. Your grandparents had a TV cabinet

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Which household lacked a TV cabinet back in the day? My grandad’s massive TV cabinet is where he stored his entertainment system, which by then was a VCR. Grandmas found a use for it, too. She would keep all her porcelain figurines & family photos on there.