Barbara Bush made extra Christmas stockings for great grandchildren she never got to meet

Barbara Bush passed away in April 2018, but her memory lives on with a sweet family Christmas tradition that involves great-grandchildren that were born after she died.  

Jenna Bush Hager, who recently returned from maternity leave after the birth of her third child, revealed to PEOPLE that her grandmother worked "tirelessly" to create reserve Christmas stockings for members of the Bush family who she never lived to meet. 

“I found out I was pregnant the week after my grandfather died, and I lost my three living grandparents in one year,” Hager said of the bittersweet moment she learned she was expecting her son, Hal, with husband Henry. 

She continued to explain that "Hal is the first baby that won’t get to meet these people that were such an important part of my life. But, I will say, and this is such a beautiful thing — my grandmother, my dad’s mom, needlepointed a lot of stockings, reserves, for great-grandchildren that would be after she died.”

"And so my aunt just emailed me on Friday and said, ‘What address should I send Hal’s stocking to?’“ she said.

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Hundreds gather to pay their last respects to former first lady Barbara Bush
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Hundreds gather to pay their last respects to former first lady Barbara Bush
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush attends the funeral service for his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, with his son the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Richard Carson
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: The casket of former first lady Barbara Bush is moved after a funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Pallbearers move casket of former first lady Barbara Bush after a funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr., gives a sermon during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. David J. Phillip/Pool via Reuters
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Jenna Bush Hager speaks during the funeral for her grandmother and former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Jenna Bush Hager speaks during a funeral service for her grandmother, former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Barbara Bush, daughter of former President George W. Bush, during a funeral service for her grandmother and former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Susan Baker speaks during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Jon Meacham speaks during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush places his hand on the casket of his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush during a funeral service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. gives a sermon during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Attendees gather at St. Martin's Episcopal Church during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: The casket is brought into St. Martin's Episcopal Church during the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: First Lady Melania Trump arrives at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21:Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama greet first lady Melania Trump at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Accompanied by his wife, Hillary Clinton,left, former President Bill Clinton arrives at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former President George H.W. Bush, assisted by his son, former President George W. Bush, enter the church during the funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former Presidents George W. Bush, left, and George H.W. Bush arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Buson April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Dorothy 'Doro' Bush Koch, right, comforts former President George H. W. Bush during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush comforts his father, former President George H.W. Bush during a funeral service for his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and his wife Rev. Kathleene Card arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and his wife Rev. Kathleene Card arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, arrives at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, left, talks to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as they arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
Detailed view of a program during the funeral for former First Lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. Jack Gruber/Pool via Reuters
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Brett Coomer - Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Mourners attend during a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Attendees arrive at St. Martin's Episcopal Church for a funeral service for former first lady Barbara Bush on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords arrives for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and husband Astronaut Mark Kelly arrive at the funeral service of former first lady Barbara Bush, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Richard Carson
Singer William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys arrives at the funeral service of former first lady Barbara Bush, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Richard Carson
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Mourners arrive for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Mourners begin arriving for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 21: Mourners begin arriving for the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church on April 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Bush, wife of former president George H. W. Bush and mother of former president George W. Bush, died at her home in Houston on April 17 at the age of 92. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush attends the funeral service for his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, with his son the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, U.S., April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Richard Carson
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Hager explained that her grandmother's legacy will continue with her three children, despite her never having met Hal. 

“What a beautiful blessing and what a beautiful thing that she did so that all three of my kids will have made," the 37-year-old continued, “[Hal] will never met her, but they’re so ingrained, I mean, literally in this case, in the fabric of our family — that he’ll have a stocking that his great-grandmother sewed.” 

Hager had previously opened up Bush's needlework with an essay for Southern Living, saying the Christmas stockings she created for her daughters Poppy and Mila were the most significant. "When I imagine my Ganny, I think of her hands busy (usually her mouth too) as she meticulously needlepointed,'' she wrote. "She worked on many projects, but her most precious were stockings for her great-grandchildren."

The former first lady passed away last spring at the age of 92 after years of congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her husband, the former president George H.W. Bush, passed away seven months later. 

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Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager together
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Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager together
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11: Henry Chase Hager (L) and co-author Jenna Bush-Hager attend 92Y Talks: Laura Bush & Jenna Bush-Hager on May 11, 2016 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager attend the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Uri Schanker/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 03: Henry Hager and Jenna Bush Hager attends the 9th annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street on December 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager appear on NBC News' "Today" show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, and Henry Chase Hager attend "A White House Christmas: First Families Remember" Premiere Party at Tenjune on December 12, 2012 in New York, New York. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager appear on NBC News' "Today" show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Jenna Bush Hager (L) and Henry Chase Hager attend 'A Candid Conversation with Jane Fonda and Andy Cohen' benefitting the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention at the Darby Downstairs on October 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Henry Hager and Jenna Bush attend the 2nd Annual UNICEF Masquerade Ball at The Angel Orensanz Foundation on October 27, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UNICEF)
Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager attend UNICEF's Next Generation Launch Event at The Gates on July 23, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jonathon Ziegler/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
DALLAS - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Henry Hager and Jenna Bush-Hager attend the Russell Simmons Diamond Empowerment Fund - Dallas Rocks Benefit Dinner on November 14, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Daughters of former US president George W. Bush, Barbara (L) and Jenna (C), walk from trhe US Capitol with Jenna's husband Henry Chase Hager (R) following the inaugural ceremony for Barack Obama as 44th US president in Washington on January 20, 2009. AFP PHOTO / Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of US President George W. Bush, and her husband, Henry Hager, walk down the driveway of the White House to participate in a commemorative tree planting on the South Lawn in Washington, DC, September 27, 2008. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
CRAWFORD, TX - MAY 10: In this handout image provided by the White House, President George W. Bush (R) and Mrs. Laura Bush (2L) and Barbara Bush (L) stand with the new Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hager following the young couple's wedding ceremony at Prairie Chapel Ranch May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House via FilmMagic)
CRAWFORD, TX - MAY 10: In this handout image provided by the White House, Henry and Jenna Hager pause as they cut their wedding cake during a reception in their honor following the ceremony at Prairie Chapel Ranch May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House via FilmMagic)
CRAWFORD, TX - MAY 10: In this handout image provided by the White House, Henry and Jenna Hager pose for photographs along the lake at Prairie Chapel Ranch following their wedding ceremony May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House via WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
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