Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family’s favorite holiday tradition!

2009 marked my first Christmas as an adult.

Or at least, I thought I was champion of adulting at that point. Proof remains to be seen.

Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition!

The pilot and I were very proud of this momentous occasion and decided we needed our own special holiday tradition right off the bat.

Something we could document and look forward to throughout the years… Something we could rely on despite deployments, distance, travel, and typical holiday hustle and bustle… Ooh! And it has to be something warm and fuzzy.

Since I call P Bear and he calls me Bird, we took our nicknames to the tree! Each year we pick out an ornament to match each other’s spirit animal.

We try to stick to unbreakable ornaments in hopes that we’ll be able to keep them around forever, though a few porcelain birds have snuck their way onto the tree over the years. I bubble wrap those bad boys within an inch of their life each year. I would say this precaution is because of our daughter, who joined in our ornament antics back in 2013, but that would be a flat out lie. I’m queen of clumsiness in this household and have a long standing record for breaking the most breakables. The chickpea tries to keep up, but I’m pretty good at holding on to my title.

Seriously we’re running out of drinking glasses at this point. And plates. And pyrex bakeware. And… Just wrap me in bubble wrap, mmkay?

As for my chickpea, we couldn’t decide what animal she should be. There’s not exactly an abundance of hummus and/or legume ornaments for the taking. Our indecision resulted in a medley of wacky ornaments that have little relation to one another but somehow each symbolize a little bit of her explosively colorful personality. They’re eccentric and I love them!

Here’s our family’s little ornament exchange time capsule:


Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition!


Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition!

2015 was so chaotic that I actually missed posting about it! Blogger blasphemy, right?! My bad!

Our little chickpea discovered the art of asserting her opinion over pretty much everything and helped each of us choose our ornaments for the year. What resulted was a colorful and eccentric addition to the tree.

Octopus!!! She chose an octopus!!!

I love that crazy kid and her hot pink christmas octopus.


Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition!


Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition - Bird Ornament

Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition - Bear Ornament

Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition - Fox Ornament

This quirky little tradition of ours is one of my favorite parts of our holiday routine.

The second Thanksgiving is over I’m on the hunt for the perfect ornament for my beloved Bear, and super excited to see what the chickpea picks as her spirit animal of the year.

This year she’s a fox.

She originally chose a little felt fox dressed in a santa hat with red and green lederhosen. It was impossibly adorable and butter soft, so naturally she decided it shall join her in bed each night and couldn’t part with it when it came time to decorate the tree. She helped me pick out a replacement fox to hang and will probably be found snuggling the original ornament until it falls apart. This girl loves her foxes!

Christmas Tree-dition 2016: Our family's favorite holiday tradition!

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  • Your tree looks great with your decor and is perfect in that corner. The letters are adorable. Have a merry Christmas! ~ Angie

  • This is such a cute Christmas tradition! I love the idea of getting a bear and a bird every year. As for your daughter, I think there really ought to be more hummus and legume ornaments out there. But the fox is pretty cute too.

  • I’m so impressed with these ornaments! I love the memories behind them too and the kids will never forget them!

  • Oh my gosh, the fox!! I am so in love! I call Thomas my bear too! (haha get it, Big Bear hahahaha) I only have like 1 bear on our tree though. I love that y’all pick out your “spirit animal” ornaments! Such a perfect tradition!

    • I love that we both have bears in our lives! <3

  • Oh my goodness!! All of these are absolutelly amaazing!!

  • Ornaments with a story and memory behind them are my favorites. What a wonderful tradition!

  • Omg I loooove that octopus! You guys are too cute!

    • He’s pretty fabulous right? Love that crazy thing!

  • Well that is fun! So many great memories!

  • Sue

    Hi Jenn, our Christmas tree consists of many years of vacations, kids art, and photos of all our beloved pets, many of whom are departed, as well as gifts from special people. It holds so many wonderful memories!
    I get excited every year to revisit all the treasures. This past summer we all went to the Delaware shore for a vacation and I bought all of us an ornament as a remembrance of a great family time.
    Love yours!!!!!!!!

    • I love that your tree is a menagerie of memories Sue. It sounds so magical! Unboxing all the ornaments and setting up the tree must be such a wonderful time capsule each and ever year!

  • What a sweet tradition with the ornaments! And I LOVE the octopus!! Cute!

  • She’s such a little cutie! And I love the ornaments. Do you remember where you got the bear (the third picture) in the 2009-2012 collage? It’s so cute!

    • Thanks Erin! It’s from Crate and Barrel 🙂 They’re one of my favorite sources for ornaments each year and they’re such great quality! <3

  • These are super cute! I love it!

  • Aren’t Christmas traditions nice? You have pretty ones.

  • These are so cute, what a lovely idea for a Christmas tradition

  • This is adorable. And the Christams octopus reminds me of the movie Love Actually. 😉

    • OHMYGOSH YES! I haven’t watched it yet this season and I think tonight might be the night! <3 Love that movie Jamie! 🙂

  • Thanks for taking us through your Christmas tradition. We don’t celebrate Christmas but this is by far the best holiday I enjoy and love to see every families individual traditions. Over the years we have also started putting up our tree and following few traditions of our own.

    • Thank you Sandhya! I’m in love with starting new family traditions, year round really! I want to start finding more for the Summer and Spring months too so I have things to look forward too 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season!

  • Oh my goodness, the octopus! Love it!! Such a great idea for a holiday tradition!

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