Jenna Bush Hager’s late grandmother was thoughtful until the very end.
The co-host of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna said her grandmother, former first lady Barbara Bush, loved to make special Christmas stockings for everyone in her family.
"The one tradition that we all had is that my grandmother Barbara needlepointed all of our stockings," Jenna told TODAY. "I have a needlepointed stocking from her ... and then my kids got one."
Jenna's daughters, Mila, 9, and Poppy, 7, each have customized stockings featuring their special interests.
"Mila’s features a cat on top — that was a special request from Mila, who is a particular cat lady — (and) she needlepointed Poppy’s, which has a poppy flower on it," Jenna said.
But the year before the birth of Jenna's son, Hal, Barbara Bush died at age 92.
Jenna said she later received a call from her aunt letting her know that her beloved “Ganny” had left behind several hand-needlepointed Christmas stockings for the great-grandchildren she didn’t live to see.
"I couldn't even believe it," Jenna said. "She stockpiled a lot for her great-grandchildren. I just imagine her wildly needlepointing. And so even though Hal was born after she passed away, he is always going to have a part of her."
Jenna said the beloved stockings are a point of conversation each year within the Bush family.
"They are among our most treasured possessions, and now I need to learn how to needlepoint because I have to put 'Hal' on here," Jenna said, referencing the blank space where everyone else's stockings feature their names. "Or I’ll need to find someone who can needlepoint — that might be more practical."
Jenna said the Bush family shares another fun Christmas tradition: Mexican food on Christmas Eve.
"The first year that my husband spent Christmas with my family, he was like, 'Wait, where's the ham?'" Jenna said. "He couldn't believe that's how we celebrated."