Grandma's Christmas Gift to Grandson's Black Wife Has Internet Conflicted

A grandmother has sparked debate and discussion online after giving her grandson's Black wife a lavish Christmas present accompanied by a controversial note.

In a post titled "Xmas present from my very Karen grandma to my African American wife," a Reddit user posting under the handle The_Alchemyst shared a picture of the luxurious gift given to his partner this year.

It shows a set of black pearls resting inside a black leather box.

According to Pearl-Lang, black pearls or "Tahitian pearls" are "considered the most exotic variety of pearl" and originate from a black-lipped oyster known as the "Pinctada margaritifera cumingii."

Indigenous to French Polynesia, Fiji, the Sea of Cortez and the Cook Islands, black pearls can range in price from $200 for a low quality pearls set all the way up to $36,000 for fine quality ones. To put it plainly, this was a very special gift.

However, the source of contention for the original poster wasn't so much his grandma's generosity, but rather the handwritten note she included alongside the gift.

"Like my black pearls - rare and of great value!" it reads. "You are the black pearls of the family. Love you, Karen."

The grandmother's choice of words saw the picture garner plenty of attention on Reddit. At the time of writing, the post had been upvoted more than 45,000 times on the site. People were, for the most part, conflicted by the generous present and, at best, poorly worded note that came with it.

"Bless her heart, grandma's trying," B1GTOBACC0 wrote. "The delivery needs a little work, but she's trying." Galadyn agreed: "The delivery was a little off but man that's a beautiful gift."

420_Catlover wrote: "I think she meant well and that's an amazing gift...If the pearls are real then it's SUPER expensive! I just think the delivery could've been a bit better." Farmerher2020 noted: "She's probably in her 80's. It's very sweet. Actually telling the wife she's valuable and rare. And passing down an heirloom while she is at it."

Another user, posting as DanysDeadDragons went further accusing the grandson of "looking for a reason to look down upon his grandmother" by sharing the post. "For a grandmother to hand down pearls to a grand-daughter in law is a huge gesture," they added.

WorkingInAColdmind saw the message as an attempt by someone set in their ways to try and change for the better. "You can feel the conflict she has going on inside, but clearly she recognizes your wife in a positive way," they responded. Savagecitizen agreed: "This is an olive branch. This is a sign of change. This is the promise of a better tomorrow."

Newsweek has contacted The_Alchemyst for comment.

While elderly relatives have been known to make the occasional inappropriate comment, it could be for entirely biological reasons rather than any malice. As Psychotherapist Allison Abrams explained to Business Insider, remarks of this kind may be related to the way the brain begins to change as a result of the aging process.

"Our prefrontal cortex starts to atrophy [as we age]," she said. "In other words, the frontal lobes lose their sharpness." The frontal lobes govern things like reasoning, logic and judgement. They also work as a filter to inhibit inappropriate thoughts. As a result, older people are more prone to blurting out strange or inappropriate comments.

"Once we reach that old age where our brains start to lose that ability, those more hidden parts, those more subconscious thoughts, we are less able to inhibit them," Abrams explained.

A major debate was sparked on Reddit last month after users began to weigh in with their opinions on the worst things about being old. Meanwhile, the internet surprisingly sided with one man as he shunned his elderly neighbor after he threatened his dog.

An interracial couple at Christmas.
A file photo of an interracial couple - a grandmother's gift to her grandson's Black wife has sparked much debate on Reddit. Srdjanns74/Getty