Eleven Afghans For Christmas
What would you like for Christmas? Carol shares about the time that she made eleven, yes eleven, afghan blankets for Christmas!
Small Afghans for Christmas
Most of my grandchildren are close in age. Each one of them enjoyed pulling their parent’s or my big afghans off the couch to snuggle into. But the size of the blankets often tripped them as they dragged them around. One Christmas I made each of them a small afghan just their size. I hoped they would enjoy their very own crocheted blankets while we read a story or they watched their favourite TV shows.
Those little afghans served many purposes for those active grandchildren with great imaginations. But children grow and blankets do not. Yet even when the little blankets no longer covered or wrapped around them, the children left them on their bed or a chair close by.
The Kids Grew
One day a few of the grandchildren, all in junior high or high school, came over to visit. One of the granddaughters said, “Grandma, you know those little blankets you made us?”
I nodded and she continued, “Well they kinda don’t fit us anymore.”
“I wonder why.” I joked with them. “Did they shrink?”
I got looks that told me they thought I might be crazy and a chorus of, “NO! We grew.” almost deafened me.
“Christmas is coming. You could make us new ones – big ones that we can wrap around us again.” The granddaughter who started this conversation continued. “I’d like one with all the squares like you’ve made for Auntie.”
“You want a granny square one?” I asked
The blank stares and shrugs I received told me they had no idea what I meant so I retrieved the afghan I thought she referred to and asked, “You want me to make one like this?”
When she nodded and smiled I said, “These are called granny square afghans.”
“Can we choose our favourite colours? You will make them for us won’t you grandma?” she pleaded and the other grandchildren quickly agreed.
“Well, if I decide to make them, you will all have to tell me what colours you want. I think I know all your favourites but I want to be sure.”
Excitement in the Room
I could sense the excitement in the room as the grandchildren contemplated what colours they would choose. I planned to tell the grandchildren who lived far away know about this conversation and see what they thought about new blankets. I had no doubt they would all agree.
In minutes I had colour choices flung at me by all but the youngest grandson. Each time I asked him he simply said, “Doesn’t matter what colours you use grandma. I just want you to make me a blanket.”
“Well does that mean I could make yours last? I’ll use all the leftover yarn from the blankets I make your siblings and cousins.” I asked him.
“Sure that’d be okay. As long as I get a blanket I don’t care.” He said,
His dad looked at him and said, “Dude, remember you have lots of sisters and mostly girl cousins. That might mean lots of pink and purple in your blanket.”
My grandson’s head jerked up and he stared at dad and then his eyes shifted to me. “Grandma I want red and blue okay. No pinks or purple.”
We all burst out laughing at his quick turn around on colour choices. “Well I’ll think about making blankets for each of you but no promises okay.”
They nodded with a sly smile, “Oh grandma you love us so much, you’ll make them for us.” One said and they all agreed. Then they sweetened the request with hugs.
Six Months Until Christmas
I had about six months until Christmas when I went yarn shopping. I decided they would never outgrow these afghans as I bought yarn to make the first one. It would fit on a double bed.
I crocheted squares and more squares. Once all the squares had been crocheted I laid out the pattern, joined them together and crocheted an edging around the giant project. It took me fifty hours to finish the first one. I knew I would never get all of them done in time for this Christmas. Since I wanted all the grandchildren to receive these gifts at the same time, the project needed to be extended to a different year.
On Christmas day I watched the faces of my grandchildren as they opened their gifts. Those who had continually asked whether I was making afghans looked disappointed in this year’s gift but quickly brightened up and said, “Maybe grandma will give them to us next year.”
I crocheted and crocheted. I bought more and more yarn in all the right colours. I stashed them out of sight when the grandchildren came to visit. I loved their anticipation and hope. I enjoyed the hours of work to complete each one and looked forward to watching their faces on Christmas morning.
Eleven Afghans for Christmas!
Eleven large afghans, taking fifty hours each, lay completed and stored with great creativity in our small home. I had to make sure the secret remained hidden until Christmas morning as well as figure out how to transport four of them to another province. Blankets that large take up a lot of luggage space when we planned to fly to Ontario but somehow I made sure they all fit.
I enlisted the help of my children to hide the packages until gift opening. I did not want prying eyes or busy fingers probing the parcels under the tree and guessing what they might contain. I planned for all eleven to open them at the same time, some in Ontario and the rest in Saskatchewan. Skype would help me see all the reactions.
Wrapped in a Grandma Hug
I love when a plan comes together. The looks of happiness on the faces of my grandchildren as they opened huge parcels to find their long hoped for blankets made my Christmas wonderful. They wrapped themselves up in those blankets with smiles on their faces. One granddaughter even said it was like wrapping herself in a grandma hug. It made all the time and effort more worthwhile than I could have imagined.
As much as the grandchildren loved their gifts of hand-made blankets, there is a gift beyond price which has already been bought and paid for. God loved us so much that even when we didn’t deserve it, he sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place and rise again. The gift of eternal life is waiting for our acceptance. It is a gift effecting all eternity.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
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