My Favorite Holiday Tradition

Today I’m exited to shareΒ my absolute favorite holiday tradition!

December means…

…going ape with holiday posts and shenanigans is not only allowed, but encouraged! <3

…answering the phone saying “Buddy the Elf, What’s your favorite color!?” is less creepy than when I say it in the middle of July.

…candy canes are now officially a food group!Β  No?Β  Well excuse me while I pout.

It also means that I get to partake in my absolute favorite holiday tradition

Favorite Holiday Tradition
Favorite Holiday Tradition
bird christmas ornament
bear christmas ornament

Three years ago Paul and I started a fun little tradition that will some day result in a tree full of woodland animals! I love it so! Since I call P Bear and he calls me Bird [or, more often than not, silly bird] we took the nicknames to the tree! Each year we pick out each other’s ornament and exchange it while we set up our tree. Super cute right? It’s a tad less cute when I reveal that I have to physically drive my husband to a store and tell him to come back when he’s found my bird. One of these years he’ll remember <3

Just not this one.

We try to stick to unbreakable ornaments in hope that we’ll be able to keep them around forever, though a few porcelain birds have snuck in the rotation and I bubble wrap those chirpers within an inch of their life each year. They take up a lot of room in our Christmas box with their 2 feet of padding but considering how clumsy I am, it’s a necessary precaution! Eventually we’ll have a little ankle biter to partake in the fun and I cannot. flipping. wait! I imagine we’ll have to decorate two trees eventually as the furry and feathered creatures runneth over.

What about you? Whats your favorite holiday tradition? Any holiday! Spill it!

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  • Kim

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I LOVE your ornaments! They are so adorable. Do you remember where you guys got them?
    – Desperatly trying to find them

    • Jenn

      Kohls, Target, Crate and Barrel, and Michael’s Craft Store! Good luck! I just got the cutest little bear at target today for P’s annual ornament and It’s SO ADORABLE!

  • awwww love it!!!! Lenox ornamnets are SO PRETTY!!!!! that plus the animal theme would totally be worth the effort of a pretty 2nd tree! =) My mom had like 8 mini trees in her house when i went home to visit and I got uber jealous =) the more the merrier!

    happy new year stephanie!!!

  • Stephanie DeBoer

    We went with an ornament to celebrate something big that happens each year.  Obviously, since we got married in Nov, we went with a wedding themed ornament from Lenox with 2011 on the bottom.  I did branch out, though, and find an ornament for each of our favorite animals.  If I can, I’ll continue that one too.  I see us needing multiple trees in the very near future!!

  • Thanks love πŸ˜‰

  • lou

    thatss adorable!

  • oooh! Swarovski’s Holiday Collection is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! love it!

  • resham

    Such a CUTE tradition!! I am totally inspired! I personally collect Swarovski Holiday Star or Snowflake every year since my kid’s first B’day.  I think I will start something cute like yours from this year… πŸ™‚ HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

  • That is such a cute tradition! I really like the pictures!

  • Anne Hogan

    That’s such a great tradition – I love it!

  • Really!?!? Ahhh Thank you!!!!!

  • Honey We're Home

    Your photos are gorgeous!  Thanks for linking up!  I will be featuring your tree next week:)

  • Sandy

    I love a tree with little critters and yours is an especially idea…
    Happy Holidays

  • If I have to keep driving him to the store years from now… oh man he’s in trouble! haha =) Thanks Jean!

  • What a sweet idea.  Maybe not for us though.  My hubby calls me his little brown cow.;)

  • Jean @ Flower Hill

    Love how you made this tree so sentimental!  Even if you do have to drive your husband to the store.  LOL

  • awww Thank you! =) I cant wait to see what our bird/bear collection looks like in 5-10 years! we might need a second tree =)

  • abeachcottage

    That is such a sweet tradition πŸ™‚ and your little tree-ditions are so cute!

  • what a sweet tradition I absolutely love it! I’d love you to add it to what we wore and made party over at

  • haha everyone i know either LOOOOVES cheese or hates it. there is no in-between! =)

  • ah-greed. food always comes first =) decorating lasts longer…. but the food tastes better than the ornaments… wait! I mean.. =)

  • girlllllll my house is a hot mess! =) you can’t see the floor in my office. shhh =)

  • ahhhhh yes!!!! def make one every year! so flipping cute!!!!

  • LOVE IT!!!! =) our pets are totally children to us too =) Our cat has her own ornament and so does one of my ferrets… oh man.. the other ferret needs his own too now. Though he steals ALL OF THEM so I guess they are all his =) haha

  • haha everyone that calls you will loooove you for it! =) instant smiles!!! Christmas music is a must! and though cookies make me ill I still sneak a crapton this time of year! It isn’t christmas without them! <3

  • You’ll have to fill me in on what traditions you kids start up this year!!! <3 you’ll think of some amazing things, I know it! <3

  • awwwwwwwwwwwww so sweet! thanks for sharing Lena! =) I love that you guys still tear it up in the kitchen together via phone!

  • good nog is hard to find!!! Hopefully she holds on to him! =)

    and hockey ornaments are pretty stinkin cute =)

  • Starting new ones is the BEST! You guys will have a blast =)

  • I want christmas pjs toooooooooooooo! *pouts*

  • so super sweet =) drill it in early sweetheart! our traditions are non-negotiable! boys must participate! hehe

  • love it!!!! I wish I could go home for christmas! but i’ll settle for my hunny if they can hurry up and send him back to me! =)

  • Oh my gosh, that is the cutest little tradition…LOVE it! My family really only has one holiday tradition and that is every year on Christmas Eve, my sister and I get to open one gift…and that gift is always new PJ’s to wear on Christmas Day. Even after I moved out and couldn’t make it to my parent’s house until Christmas Day, my mom would find SOME way to get me those PJ’s! πŸ™‚

  • I love this tradition! It’s so sweet that you buy each other an ornament. As I’m collecting more ornaments each year I’m realizing that you really do remember where each and every one comes from.

  • Cant wait to involve future kiddos in this just like you guys did! =) so so sweet! Thanks for sharing your tradition Tara!!! <3

  • Alyssakuminski

    We just started our first year of christmas tree decorating! We are purchasing ornaments from everywhere we travel πŸ™‚

  • totally just make it when you get back! ohmygosh and have fuuuuuuuuuuuun chickadee!!!!! <3 so excited for you guys! =)

  • awwww yay! GREAT idea! <3

  • awwww yay! this warmed my heart girl! =) what a fabulous tradition!!!!! And a perfect one to pass on <3 I can’t wait to keep mine going too! and add little ones into the mix! whoo!

  • Love it!

    Ever since I was born my mom has given me and my sister an ornament on Christmas Eve.  The ornament defines our year in some way.  I have a Peter Pan from when I was 3, ballet slippers from high school, and an Alpha Phi ornament from college.  We got wedding bells when we got engaged and a ring when we got married.  Every ornament is recorded on a piece of cardboard in my ornament box.  It’s so much fun remembering the stories behind each ornament when we decorate the tree each year.

    I can’t wait to start the tradition for my daughter this year.  πŸ™‚

  • awwww can I come over for games?! That sounds awesome girl! Maybe P and I will break out the scattegories this year! I wish they made a cranium for two people!!! lol

  • Tara

    My husband and I started that same tradition 15 years ago when we got married, and we’re still doing it.  We’ve collected a ton of ornaments over the years!!!  We have three kids now, and we also give each of them and ornament each year, so when they leave our home one day, they’ll have a box FULL of ornaments!!  Thank you so much for stopping by my blog…I really appreciate it!

  • OMIGOSH! That is super cute!!! And I believe in him that he will remember one day.

    My fave tradition is games! My family is a big big game family we love charades and catchphrase, pictionary…all of it! We live for games and it’s always so super fun and silly. I mean my aunt one year got up on a chair to do Titanic…lol. 

  • Leanne @ healthful pursuit

    I would die laughing if I called someone and they answered the phone like that. Man, I bet you’re a riot in real life. haha Such great energy! Kevin and I decorate gingerbread houses EVERY Christmas eve. When he read my blog post that said we wouldn’t be doing it this year (because we’ll be on vacation) he got really upset… so I guess we’ll be doing it when we get back!

  • I love the idea of buying each other an ornament.  I’ve always thought that ornaments make wonderful gifts!

  • I absolutely love your tree theme.  We get each other a new ornament each year too – no theme though.  I enjoy everything about Christmas…except the crowds.

  • kea9578

    I love your ornaments!! My holiday tradition is that my brother & I ALWAYS put up the same ornaments on the tree every year since we were little! I love coming home from school to my house all decorated :] best feeling ever!!

  • leahsthoughts

    Cute ornaments! Great tradition. I love to make tons of different cookies during the holidays. It’s so much fun.

  • What a cute idea!!  My husband and I got married last December (the 18th), and we were on our honeymoon during Christmas … so this will be our first “real” Christmas together.  So we don’t have any traditions yet.  I look forward to making some together!

  • April D

    The birds are adorable! I am really into birds at the moment! What a super tradition!

  • Danni @ Healthy Kitschy Vegan

    Oh my god! Your tree of animals so reminds me of my tradition. Every year I buy a bird ornament to hang on my Christmas tree <3 It started with an antique one that I got of my great grandmother’s. 

    That and there’s always the tradition of christmas cookie baking and eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning <3

  • Okay THIS is awesome! I love the idea that your Christmas tree will one day be full of birds and bears. Themes and traditions are what make the holidays so much fun!

  • Lauren

    Love it. Your tree is much more elegant than ours covered in hockey ornaments and shrek. I would have to go with my brother in laws lethal egg nog as my favorite holiday tradition. I hope my sister doesn’t get divorced, love the nog.

  • One of my fav traditions is I get my kids new christmas pjs every year, I put them under the tree on Christmas Eve( no other presents are there, because Santa hasn’t come yet), when they’re not paying attention. Then when they notice presents under the tree they open them and put on their new pjs!!Now this tradition is getting harder to pull off b/c my oldest son is out of the house. I still invite him to spend the night on Christmas Eve though!! Thanks too for visiting my blog!!! Your blog is loverly!!!!! I’m now following!!!

  • viewing films with my dog, drinking wine, and eating sushi!  avoiding family!  x

  • Lauren

    I love all the ornaments! My family gets a new one every year!

  • Lena (@LenaOnTheBeach)

    My favorite tradition is spending Christmas Eve cooking up a storm with my dad for our annual smörgåsbord, which includes his oyster stew. Even years that I can’t go home for the holidays, I make the stew while I have my dad on the phone.

  • Stephanie DeBoer

    I love this!  This year is our first Christmas as a married couple!  While we were together for the last two, we didn’t really develop any traditions.  So I’m trying so hard to come up with something for us to start doing…and drawing a complete blank!!  This gives me some inspiration.  While we don’t have any cute animal nicknames for each other, I can definitely expand on your concept and take it our own direction.  πŸ™‚  Looking forward to testing out my idea.

  • awww..I love them!! 
    Best tradition?  Too many.  Sleeping over at my parent’s house (STILL) and waking up on Christmas morning to presents and a tree.  Watching “A Christmas Story” like 87 times.  Singing caroles.

  • Emily Grapes

    My family does the same thing! Each year, growing up my parents would get us an ornament that described the year for us and we’d open it as our 1 Christmas Eve gift. One year it was a bear playing the clarinet (when I played) or a volleyball…and when we marry its up to the spouse. I get my boyfriend an ornament now every year and I’m not sure if he fully understands his roll when we marry but you can bet I’ll be drilling it in his brain that its a major tradition that he must uphold. haha

    There’s so many more we do, but I’ll limit myself. haha
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  • What a fun tradition!!!  Sometimes we wives just have to “help” our husbands…!

  • There are SO many great tradition ideas in these comments! I love the idea of collecting an ornament from everwhere we travel…Too bad we didn’t start that ten years ago when we started traveling! Normally, my favorite holiday tradition is that the hubs and I take a vacation (usually THIS week!), but aside from that my favorite holiday tradition is cookies at Christmas and listening to Christmas music. To me, it’s not Christmas without cookies and music. Btw-totally answering my phone like for the rest of the month. πŸ™‚

  • Aw, cute! My mom still buys me an ornament each year- she’s found a lot of cute cooking ones!

  • You guys are so cute.  I love that red bird ornament!  My grandmother always said red birds are good luck.

  • ok now THAT rocks!!!

  • awwwwww soSOso cute!!!! and a lobster? lol! love it!

  • Kate Wason

    I love that tradition!! and those animals are totally adorable.  We have a similar one in my family – every year since I can remember, my parents would always take my sister and I to pick out a new Christmas ornament for the tree. I’ve gotten cows, ballerina slippers, lobsters, running shoes….and now that we’re both over 20, we have too many ornaments to fit on the tree hahahah

  • that is an adorable tradition, jenn! i love it. πŸ™‚

    this is brad’s and my FIRST christmas together in our apartment, so we’re making our traditions now! 

  • Corey @ Learning Patience

    love that tradition…super cute! 
    My favorite holiday tradition is eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve….
    xoxo from Trinidad

  • That is such a cute tradition! My favourite tradition is making a gingerbread house with my family… we’ve been doing it every year since we were kids! πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth Brunetti

    We get ourselves a special ornament each year that commemorates something significant that happened to us that year.  We had a wedding cake the year we got married, a house the year we bought our condo, a couple of cats the year we adopted our kitty-kids…now that I think about it, I need to figure out what happened this year so we can shop for our ornament!

  • j3nn

    I love the idea of a tree full of animals! That’s sooo adorable. I’ve been nerding up the Christmas tree myself by collecting ornaments, haha. Decorating is my second favorite part of the holidays, food being #1 of course. πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie

    Oops, sorry…forgot to say.  Last year we (and by we, I mean me and he humours me) decided that we’d choose an ornament every year to represent something important in our lives.  Last year was a heart (to represent both our wedding and our miscarriage) and this year is a piece of sea glass (because we finally moved back to the ocean).

  • Stephanie

    I was all “whaaaaa?  No way JP would ever think of doing that.  We suck when it comes to cuteness.”  And then you said that you had to drive P to get your bird, and I felt ok again.  Haha!  (I love your birds.  I love your bears.  What a sweet tradition – whether or not the boy might need a few reminders.)

  • That is so precious!! Last Thanksgiving (not last week, the year before;) my boyfriend and I spent the holiday weekend in Myrtle Beach. We found this really cute art studio and made our own blown glass ornaments — it was so flippin’ fun! That would be a fun tradition — to make an ornament each year:)

  • Your house must be so gorgeous at this time (not that it isn’t all of the time!) Those ornaments are adorable…and I love your stunning pics as usual πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    haha my hubby LOVES bears so we have tons of bear ornaments πŸ™‚

  • Suuuuuuuuper love this!!  I totally want a tree full of animals.  πŸ™‚

  • I can only imagine your house around the holidays! I bet it looks beautiful like everything else you do! πŸ™‚


  • OMG that is too cute.  We call each other some version of bear.  And I don’t want to completely steal your idea.  But……

    We do have a tradition where I buy him a Hickory Farms cheeseball each year.  I hate cheese, but it is what you do for those you love.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  • You two are adorable!  What a cute tradition. πŸ™‚

  • awwwww! now THAT is a sweet tradition! love you chica!

  • Kay

    That’s almost disgustingly adorable.  =)

    Seriously, too cute for words.

    And I am so glad someone else answers the phone that way!

  • sounds fantabulous =)

  • Making hot cocoa with lots of treats in it and watching old movies.

  • My family holiday traditions have changed after my brothers got married. My favorite thing about Christmas is getting together with my family.
    Candy canes aren’t a food group?!? When did this happen πŸ™‚

  • aww thanks! What if you guys picked a theme? it could stay the same every year or change each year! <3 I think that would rock!

  • J (morning runner)

    That is such a cute tradition! I so want to start that but we don’t have cute nicknames like that!  I love the cardinal ornament. So cute!

  • Brilliant! When can I come over for dinner?

  • How fun!  Mine revolves around food – shocker!  My side usual decides a “theme” each year for dinner.  This year is three different kinds of soups and sandwiches…yum!

  • GENIUS!!!!! We wanted to collect paintings from every place we lived and travelled but we keep forgetting! I love your tradition!!!!!

  • IsleStyleRun

    CUTE!! We’ve just started collecting ornaments from our vacations/travels.  Eventually our tree will be a “Remember When” convo starter for us- when we are too old to remember on our own =)

  • OMG that sounds like FUN!!!!! I want in on that!

  • Julia Chadwick

    That’s such a cute tradition!  My favorite one growing up was making gingerbread houses with my sisters.  Then after Christmas we would take hammers and smash them into gingerbread dust.  And then eat them, stale candy and all!

  • bahahahahaha! please go do that. now!

  • It’s still the cutest Christmas tradition ever, even if you do have to drag him there- I love that!! It makes me want to make up a cute animal nickname for my husband just so we can do this! But I think if I ran downstairs right now and was like “Hey Hedgehog!” he’d be like “What the heck are you calling me that for??” lol

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