Night Tree by Eve Bunting has become one of our favorite holiday books because it expresses the true spirit of Christmas. If you have a nature-loving family like I do, you will enjoy the theme of this book.
With beautiful illustrations of a woodland setting, Eve Bunting’s lyrical prose captures this magical family moment as a family heads off into the forest in search of the perfect tree. The surprise is that the tree is not to be chopped down, but instead the family is decorating it in the forest:
For weeks we’ve been making balls of sunflower seeds and pressed millet and honey. We hang those, too. We scatter shelled nuts and breadcrumbs and pieces of apple underneath for the little creatures who can’t climb very well. Our tree looks so pretty.
The loving family enjoys spending quiet time together, they show respect for creation, and they demonstrate a giving spirit. These are all attributes that make Night Tree a family classic for all ages and a tradition at holiday time in my house.
We were inspired by Night Tree to decorate some of the trees in our yard for the birds, squirrels, and other critters who visit. We strung garlands of popcorn, nuts, and dried fruit and draped them over branches. It is fun to check them each day to see what was eaten first. By sitting quietly at a distance, we are even able to watch some visitors and draw them in our nature journals, such as cardinals and even a curious lizard!
We also gathered twigs off the ground and made some Night Tree ornaments for our inside tree. First, we used twigs and scrap yarn to weave God’s Eyes in different colors. The variations of the twigs made them especially unique.
My teen used some pliable, greener twigs to form a circle and tied it together with thin twine. He then fashioned some pieces across it to make a “Peace” symbol.
These ornaments will remind us of our special day exploring nature and decorating both of our trees.
(This post originally appeared on The Homeschool Village.)