Trees Aren’t Cancelled #SOL20 #JoysOf2020

So much about the 2020 holiday season was cancelled. Concerts were cancelled. Cookie swaps were cancelled. Our small town’s Christmas parade was cancelled. Christmas eve church services cancelled. Even Christmas dinner with family in-person was cancelled — or at least moved safely to ZOOM.

But there was one event that was not cancelled, a local tradition celebrating its 25th year. The Concord Museum’s annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature was on! As a Kindergarten teacher, I look forward to this event every year. It is fun to see how local volunteer groups reimagine a favorite children’s picture book on a tree or wreath. It was quieter than past years with timed visits required and an abundance of social distancing. It wasn’t feeling quite the same. And then…

My favorite wintery book appeared, No Two Alike (Baker)! I love to read this book to my students. In fact, my teaching assistant just read it to us a week or so ago. It’s filled with wintery beauty, red birds reminiscent of my beloved cardinals, and a certain sign that always brings great excitement when spotted by my students.

The “Wonderville” sign was on the tree! My students get very excited when they spot the sign in the book. We call our class “Wyman’s Wonders” and they’ve decided that should be the name of our town. I look forward to sharing this book each year, and it makes me feel like all is well.

So this year Family Trees holds new significance. It’s virtually all that remains of what is usually a busy month of holiday activity. Visiting gave me a little bit of hope, on a very chilly afternoon, that not everything was cancelled, and that all will be well.

8 thoughts on “Trees Aren’t Cancelled #SOL20 #JoysOf2020

  1. Love these trees! What a neat idea! On quite another note- I, too find tying in what we normally do in class w/online learning is the best! I feel comfortable w/it, and the kids love it, too. This semester we sent our traditional penpal letters on a padlet.

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  2. I am curious – how did the tradition of the Family Trees get started? What a wonderful way to celebrate books and families and trees! I, too, am always cheered at the sight of a cardinal or a red-headed woodpecker. Happy New Year! May it be a year of wonders!

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  3. So much has been cancelled, but I’m glad to hear this event was still a “go.” I’m blown away by a community activity like this one–that’s fantastic. Cardinals are a favorite of mine as well, but I also have learned to appreciate gold finches. I see (and love) cardinals on a near-daily basis, but the brilliant yellow finches are a rare treat. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. Christie, it is wonderful that your area has such a great literary event that supports the love of reading together. Wonderville is such a lovely name for a town. After reading your post, I just had to search for the book. I think I will share it with my little Sierra who now has a baby sister, Aurora, who will be one in January. Happy New Year to you and your husband.

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  5. Christie, every time I read your writing or hear you make a comment about your classroom, I so wish I was your student! You make everything feel like magic ❤ Happy New Year!

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