The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, November 21


The classic New York Times –bestselling tale of friendship, generosity, and the magic and wonder of the Christmas spirit
On his annual search for Rockefeller Center’s next Christmas tree, the chief gardener spots an ideal candidate: a stately Norway spruce located on the grounds of a convent. There he meets Sister Anthony, a nun for whom the tree has special meaning. Orphaned and sent to the convent as a lonely young girl, Sister Anthony befriended the then-tiny spruce whom she lovingly named “Tree.” Over the following decades, as the tree grew, so did Sister Anthony’s appreciation for the beauty and wonder of nature.
She is reluctant to see her oldest and closest friend chopped down and sent away to New York City. But when a fierce blizzard threatens the old tree’s existence, Sister Anthony realizes it’s time to let the world enjoy Tree as she has for nearly her whole life.
Accompanied by charming illustrations and a new introduction by the author, The Christmas Tree is a heartwarming story of love and friendship, a modern holiday classic for all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504036580
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 118
Sales rank: 62,212
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Julie Salamon is an award-winning author and journalist. She has been a reporter and film critic for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times , and her work has appeared in the New Yorker , Vanity Fair , Vogue , and Harper’s Bazaar , among other publications. Her books include Wendy and the Lost Boys , a biography of playwright Wendy Wasserstein; The Devil’s Candy , a behind-the-scenes account of the 1980s box-office flop Bonfire of the Vanities ; and, with illustrator Jill Weber, the New York Times bestseller The Christmas Tree , as well as two middle-grade novels, Mutt’s Promise an d Cat in the City. Salamon is also chair of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a community organization that provides support for individuals who are homeless and struggling with addiction or mental illness in New York City.
Jill Weber is an artist, illustrator, and freelance designer. She has collaborated with author Julie Salamon on the New York Times bestseller The Christmas Tree and the middle-grade novels Cat in the City and Mutt’s Promise. Her other illustrated books include Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell, a Junior Library Guild Selection and New York Times Christmas pick; Higher: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Eric A. Kimmel, winner of an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award; and The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler, a New York Times holiday pick.

Read an Excerpt

The Christmas Tree: Prologue

I'm not a sentimental man, but when I saw her standing there, under the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, I started to cry.

She was not a young woman; in fact, she was fairly old. But her eyes stayed fixed on the star at the top of the tree with the curiosity and amazement of a child who has just discovered something new and wonderful. With her bright, bony face barely poking out of her black habit she looked like a little bird next to that giant tree. Only later would I understand exactly what lay behind the sparkle in her eyes, what it all meant to her.

Her name was Sister Anthony, and she was a friend of mine.

An unlikely friend, I suppose. I'm still not sure she ever knew what she did for me. But that's how it goes, I guess. You're touched by something or someone here and react to it over there and most times you don't connect one thing to the other. With Sister Anthony I knew, and I am grateful for that.

Forgive me. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you who I am and how I found myself in tears at an event that had become routine for me long ago.

I am the chief gardener at Rockefeller Center, though I think of myself as a magician of sorts. It's up to me to conjure up a Christmas tree every year—a tree so grand, so impressive—so magical—that it can stop New Yorkers in their tracks. If you've ever seen people flying around Manhattan, especially at Christmas, you can appreciate why I always get a little nervous this time of year.

It's enough to make you dread the season. We've had so many perfect trees perfection has become the norm. When you get 100 out of 100 every year youget no praise for getting 100 again, only complaints if you don't.

What is perfection?

It's hard to describe exactly what makes the perfect Christmas tree. The physical requirements are straightforward enough. The tree must stand tall and straight. Its branches must be thick and graceful, and they must point upward, giving the impression that they are reaching to the sky. They also have to be flexible, since they are tied down during the long journey to New York City.

But the trees that are finally selected need something more than height, thickness and suppleness—even more than mere beauty. And that's where I come in. I'm not an exceptional fellow in most ways, but I do have this gift. I can see if a tree has character, a spirit that outshines the ornaments and tinsel and lights—if its beauty comes from the inside and not just the outside.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Christmas Tree 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of the Giving Tree. A book that many Christians read to children but very touching to everyone.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, heartwarming story that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. This novella tells the story of one Christmas Tree that finally finds it's way to Rockerfeller Center in NY. Sister Anthony has known Tree - yes, that's the tree's name - since she was a little girl and came to live with the sisters after her parents died. A story of friendship, the cycle of life and knowing when to let go. Highly recommend this book. Approx. 60 pages long.
dbhutch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Christmas tree is a very touching story of a orphan who grows up in to a nun and her best friend all through her life is Tree. Tree is a Norway Spruce and when the man telling the story spots the tree as he is scouting trees to find the tree for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree he meets the nun who has cared for this tree and they build a wonderful friendship that helps him like his job again and help the nun know when the tree is ready to be the big and beautiful tree of Rockefeller Center.
elenchus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, the fellow responsible for finding it each year, and a convent in New Jersey with the perfect Norway spruce.Sentimental. Not entirely hogwash. I do think it tries a bit too hard.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply told this is a story I shall enjoy reading every Christmas. It captures the wonder of the natural world and the love and joy of a special friendship.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
updated review: The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon wrote first review Jan 2015: I have read many books about how the tree is selected and how it gets from point A to point B. Very fascinating details along the way. Based on the NJ nuns that donated a tree to the NY Rockefeller center for the holidays. As told from the gardener of Rockefeller Center he must search for and find just the right tree every year to display. One day from the air he learns of the Nunnery and how it came to be as he finds a really good tree. Love hearing of the different species of trees as my family is in the nursery business. Loved hearing of the journey as I had read about a similar journey from the west coast=a tree for America. Love the history how the tree is selected as I am from a nursery family. We just recently removed our 30 yr old CO blue spruces as the branches were too damaged to save. Pictures along the way help tell the story. I received this book from Open Road Media in exchange for my honest review.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was touching in many variety of ways. It was depressing to know a girl named Anna was orphaned at a very young age. She didn't even get to know her parents as well because they died when she was at a very young age. Anna was not a type of person that was troubled and loud she was a very quiet, shy little girl. Anna became a nun and her name was changed to Sister Anthony. She befriends a tiny Norway spruce which becomes a enormous spruce one day. Sr.Anthony expresses her feelings,thoughts and secrets to the Norway spruce which she names Tree. Tree and Sr.Anthony enjoys a very close, sacred relationship. It was as if Tree was apart of Sr.Anthony family. She was enjoyed and fascinated by the many children that she taught. Sister Anthony was a little nun who was unique in her own way. She meets a man named Jesse which life is completely turned around by her. They learn from each other and realizes that you can't always be depressed and down. Sometimes you have to change and realize the beauty in things you wouldn't even imagine. This book tells a lesson that we must appreciate the things that we have. That we must realize the real meaning of things like family,friends and even your job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Christmas tree is a great book i really enjoyed it. It was a book that i didnt want to put down. I really felt in some parts the emotoin was very painful and it made me wonder about life if that had ever happen to me or any one I knew.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book called A Christmas Tree is one of the most significant books I have ever read because it teaches a lesson. The lesson is that is you look past the times that are overwhelming you can still find something beautiful. Therefore, be grateful for everything you have.Make lemonade with the lemons that God gives you.The fact that this book starts from the end and works its way up is such a terrific idea! You know the ending but its still a mystery because you don't know the beginning and middle. Not just the characters come to life in this book but the tree seems to have a character of its own. If you are wondering what I am talking about then read the book because I guarentee you will enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is recommended to kids and adults.It has great details.IIts also very toucthing.It is a Great christmas story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A true holiday classic in my opinion. Such a moving story about a tree we all admire.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Love is defined in a very special way in this gentle story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago