My 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!  No?  Well excuse me while I pout.

It also means that I get to partake in one of my absolute favorite holiday traditions:

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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Brooke @ Inside-Out Design

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

bahahahahaha! please go do that. now!

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!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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 =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats

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!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Brilliant! When can I come over for dinner?

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!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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!


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 🙂

Jessica @ Runningtobeskinny

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

sounds fantabulous =)


That’s almost disgustingly adorable.  =)

Seriously, too cute for words.

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama

You two are adorable!  What a cute tradition. 🙂


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


I can only imagine your house around the holidays! I bet it looks beautiful like everything else you do! 🙂



Suuuuuuuuper love this!!  I totally want a tree full of animals.  🙂

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

haha my hubby LOVES bears so we have tons of bear ornaments 🙂

Tessa @ Amazing Asset

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 🙂

Jenn's Adventures

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:)


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.)


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).


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. 🙂

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!

Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

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! 🙂

Corey @ Learning Patience

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

sarah (sarah learns)

that is an adorable tradition, jenn! i love it. 🙂

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

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

ok now THAT rocks!!!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

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

Kate M.

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

Corrie @ Blurb Column

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. 🙂


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

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

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List

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.

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.  🙂  Looking forward to testing out my idea.

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.


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


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


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!!!


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.

Meghan Smith

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!

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

April D

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

Kristen @ notsodomesticated

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!


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


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!!

Emily @ Life on Food

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.


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

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!


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. 


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!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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.  🙂

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

awwww yay! GREAT idea! <3

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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.


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! 🙂

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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! =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

I want christmas pjs toooooooooooooo! *pouts*

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

and hockey ornaments are pretty stinkin cute =)

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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


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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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 =)

Jean @ Flower Hill

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


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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


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

Honey We're Home

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

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Really!?!? Ahhh Thank you!!!!!

Anne Hogan

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


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


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… 🙂 HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


thatss adorable!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Thanks love 😉

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!!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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!!!


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


    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!