A Christmas tradition that is simple and memorable with the Book The Remember Tree.
Hi everyone! My name is Stefanie Hohl, and I’m the author of The Remember Tree. In The Remember Tree, a grandmother passes a family tradition to her granddaughter as she places special ornaments on a wooden tree and tells the story of the nativity. Each ornament represents a symbol of Christmas and helps us remember the true reason we celebrate this holiday season.
Like the grandmother in my story, I am a big fan of family traditions. Traditions create positive memories for children, build strong family connections, and give meaning to our celebrations and holidays. They help children develop a sense of identity and belonging.
The Remember Tree
The Remember Tree is based on a family tradition when I was a child. Every year, my parents read us a story in which Santa visited a family and asked them to remember the true meaning of Christmas. He hung ornaments on a tree as he spoke of the symbols of Christmas. After reading the story, we’d choose a family we cared about and secretly deliver excerpts of the story with a corresponding gift or treat for the twelve nights before Christmas.
Now, as an adult, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is my children’s Christmas blankets. Years ago, I made each of my children a simple no-sew fleece Christmas blanket, which we only use for the month of December. We also read Christmas picture books every night for the month of December and enjoy making peppermint bark to deliver to our neighbors.
All of this sounds great, but I also know it can feel like too much, depending on your situation and current life circumstances. I was talking recently with a sister-in-law with two young children, who mentioned how overwhelmed she feels by all the holiday traditions she feels she should be creating. I argued that it doesn’t matter what traditions you have, or how many of them you accomplish. The point is to pick a few things you love, that have meaning to you, and do those things. If you hate baking, don’t make cookies! Read a story together as a family. Watch a favorite Christmas movie. One friend’s tradition is to order Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. Just choose what works for you and your family.
In The Remember Tree, I wanted to show the passing of a tradition from generation to generation. I love the idea of grandparents passing on traditions to their grandchildren, of parents passing traditions to their children, of aunts and uncles sharing traditions with their nieces and nephews.
Thanks to this book and a kind, family friend, my family and I now have our own Remember Tree. As we read the story, my children hang the ornaments on the tree, and we all remember together, not only why we celebrate Christmas, but why our love for each other matters most.
So be intentional about family traditions. Think about what traditions your family loves, what you’re already doing, and keep it up! Quit holding on to traditions you don’t like, and feel free to start new traditions that fit your family.
Your efforts will always be worth it! Merry Christmas!
I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions in the comments below!