Christmas Keepsakes



This Christmas, two of our little elves worked away on an extra-special, top-secret project to bless our extended family…

After our beloved Grandfather recently passed, I swiped a stack of his old shirts from the donation pile. My Christmas elves then lovingly crafted them into keepsake throw-pillows. (I borrowed this touching idea from a neighbor who did the same, after the loss of her husband, a few years back.)

Not once in my thirty-eight years of being his granddaughter did I ever see Gramps in a t-shirt. Even overalls (his go-to casual attire) were paired with a crisp, short-sleeved button-down in a respectable jewel-tone that expertly set off his blue eyes and white beard; were he dressing up, he’d simply pair one with black slacks and snappy suspenders. 

snapped this photo of his closet full of vibrant shirts two years ago

Dropping said elves and their sewing machines off at the local quilt shop (where they’ve previously received sewing lessons alongside homeschool chums), I left them to design, iron, cut, pin, machine-sew, stuff, shape, and hand-sew each shirt into a precious keepsake to gift to each “branch” of Gramps’ family tree. Gramps was blessed with four kids, six grandkids, thirteen great-grandkids, and a doting wife who each adored him and will surely cherish these tokens of his memory. 

Working for two full days, ’til their eyes and fingers ached (all the while lobbing jests of sweatshop labor), they completed twenty-two pillows. I’m tremendously proud of them and know their gesture will be a conduit of comfort to our entire extended family.

Additional shout-out to my baby sister who, alongside her soon-to-be mother-in-law, also made this sweet quilt for our grandma from several shirts:


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