Holiday Tradition: the Pickle Ornament

Pickle?  Did I say pickle?  “What does a pickle have to do with Christmas?” you ask.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you are in for a real treat!  My mother started the tradition of the pickle ornament in my family when I was a child and I have started it with my children because it is so much fun!

Here’s the pickle “legend” from one Web site: “A very old Christmas eve tradition in Germany was to hide a pickle [ornament] deep in the branches of the family Christmas Tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning they knew the most observant child would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas. The first adult who finds the pickle traditionally gets good luck for the whole year.” This Christmas pickle story, with a few minor variations, can be found all over the Web and in print inside the ornament package. It says that Germans hang a pickle-shaped glass ornament on the Christmas tree hidden away so it’s difficult to find. The first child to find it on Christmas morning gets a special treat or an extra present.

This is what my mother did.  She hid the pickle and then on Christmas morning after all of the gifts had been opened, she would say, “Time to find the pickle!”

We would jump up, run over to the Christmas tree to be the first to find the pickle ornament.  Whoever found it first got an extra gift.  Gift or no gift, it was so much fun searching for that pickle and sometimes, we would ask her to re-hide the pickle so we could search again.

You can find the pickle ornament online of course and I’ve seen them in stores that carry ornaments like Target.

Disclosure: The pickle ornament is a holiday tradition for my family.  The ornament was not provided for review.  The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone and are not influenced in any way by anyone.

Courtney Lawless

Courtney is the traveling mom! She runs Detroit Mommies and Discovering Arkansas, runs the Community Projects for Collective Bias and has 3 girls under 12 years old. Courtney is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Arkansas. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.

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3 Responses

  1. Brandy says:

    So sad first that you have to put a disclosure on this, but that’s where we have been led. I love this tradition so much, it’s nice to have a special family tradition … Love the pickle too cute!

    I wish I had some sort of holiday traditions, but alas we don’t 🙁 Happy Holidays from my family to yours & thanks for giving me the reindeer food saying!!

  2. Maya says:

    I love the pickle ornament! We had one growing up, too, but my parents never had us find it…we just fought over who got to put it on the tree, lol.

  3. Christine says:

    I had never heard of this until my brother in law started it after he and my sister got married…it is so fun!

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