Nice shiny things awarded to you at least 2 years after you returned from the deployment they are awarded for.
The medal parade in the British Army is a fine tradition going back hundreds of years. It generally consists of the Chief Clerk (if you are an Officer) or Coy/Sqn Clerk (if an OR) saying "Here is your medal Sir/Mate, sign here."
Generally speaking the more of them you have the worse the state of your marriage will be.
Fifteen years ago, the only medals people were likely to have were the Northern Ireland GSM, the UN Cyprus Medal and the occasional LS&GC, BEM or MBE, but in the wake of the end of the Cold War, the UK government became a lot less worried about deploying the Army overseas, and the result has been a medals bonanza. It is by no means uncommon to find people who have been in for ten or twelve years with 8, 9 or ten medals, particularly in communications, logistics and other 'enabling' roles (the AMS are a good example).
On top of campaign medals, in 2002 the Government announced that all personnel with more than 5 years reckonable service would receive the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and this was duly issued. This was chiefly to avoid the simmering resentment that was achieved by the MoD issuing the Silver Jubilee Medal on a scale of two per battalion, which inevitably went to the CO and RSM. Most recipients were apt to regard the QGJM as a kind of 'Toytown' item, not least because it looks rather crappy, but again it has provoked fierce resentment amongst those who didn't get it and is, at a rough guess, the medal that is most often fraudulently worn by members of the armed forces. Much spite has been directed at, for example, HRH Prince Harry of Wales who was awarded the QGJM (and, after all, it's his Grandma who ultimately decides who gets it) although he wasn't at the time a member of the Army.