I’ve been thinking about the old Christmas pickle. Yes, you read it correctly; Christmas pickle. This is the ornament of most extraordinary significance found on your Christmas tree. Just ask anyone who was swift and observant enough to spot it first on Christmas morning!
The history of Christmas pickles is almost more fascinating than the fragile glass ornament, itself. Why? Because it doesn’t really have a history. No. No particular history, other than being falsely attributed to Germany and its many traditions.
Research this homey, fireside pickle story from Deutschland, and your result is the Deutsch have no idea what one is referring to when asking about their shiny, tree hanging glass vegetable. They are utterly mystified over anyone believing a tree is where one would place a pickle.
Truth be known, our tale did not originate in Germany. It actually appears to have been a marketing ploy by Woolworth’s in 1890. The store had imported vegetable ornaments from Germany, and needing a bit more Christmas pizzaz, came up with an age old tradition of the tree hanging pickle.
Out of its fabricated history came great excitement and fun where some lucky person, who had the good fortune to spy first, hidden in tree branches, the hanging pickle on Christmas morning. This person would receive an extra gift from Santa Claus, or at least could anticipate good luck throughout the coming year.
Regardless of its invented history, the Christmas pickle is fun, and an ornament cherished by those who don’t mind making their own traditions, which often fall a bit outside the expected. I say, go find yourself a glass pickle, hang it on the tree, and make sure Santa leaves an extra gift for that lucky, observant person on Christmas morning. You’ll be glad you did!
(Photo courtesy of The Local Germany)