Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Christmas Pickle

Growing up, our family had one Christmas tradition that was pretty unique--the Christmas Pickle Ornament. Some say it's a German tradition, some say it's a scam to sell pickle shaped ornaments. Either way, it was {is} fun for us, and we plan to continue the tradition with Lizzy and any future bambinos.

The basic premise is this: on Christmas Eve, you lay out the pickle ornament in front of the tree with the milk and cookies for Santa. Then, Santa hides the pickle ornament. In the morning, the first person to find the pickle ornament receives an extra present from Santa--in our family the extra gift is usually some sort of candy.

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For the last several years, Target has carried pickle ornaments for $2 or $3, which also makes it an awesome White Elephant gift. We plan to take the pickle as our White Elephant gift to Justin's work party this next Saturday along with this "pickle poem" explaining the tradition:

To start a tradition that will surely last,
here's the story about the pickle of glass.
The night before Christmas it's hung on the tree
Santa does it secretly.
And on Christmas morning when you arise,
the first to find it gets a sweet surprise.
A family tradition for all to share,
you'll look for the pickle year after year

30 comments:

  1. We do this too! Everyone finds it before me, I am horrid at it. One year my, at the time, 4 year old nephew found it before me. We have ours hung on our tree now and my 13 month old has pulled it off and brought it to me on a few occasions already this year. He must be practicing.

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  2. We have a pickle ornament too, but have yet to hide it (maybe in a couple years?) Love the idea of giving it for a white elephant.

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  3. My family did this when I was growing up, too! Now we have a pickle for our own tree.

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  4. that sounds fun!! and i love the idea of using it for a white elephant gift! will have to keep that in mind.

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  5. I'm known in my family as quite the pickle fan (my late aunt used to give me a jar each year for my birthday and called me "pickle puss").

    Thanks for sharing! Love this idea!

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  6. We do this every year at my in-law's house. It's pretty funny as 20-something and 30-something adults go running through the house to find the pickle. My hubby always wins. And our prize is cash...usually a 20 :-D

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  7. Great Idea!
    In South America we usually set up the tree on Dec, 8th it's a catholic Tradition, so tom is the big day :)
    Gotta find the Pickle ornament so we can play along. ;)
    Happy Holidays to your family Mer...!

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  8. This is a great idea! I may have to keep my eyes peeled for a pickle ornament!

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  9. We've always had a pickle on our tree, but never followed the tradition. I think with the wee one around now we will!

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  10. I want a pickle. And the tradition. But I don't think it would be that hard to find on a Norwegian Christmas tree. Plus they open presents at night...maybe I could hide a pickle under someone's dinner plate instead...and give away wine or booze! Yes! Now that's a Christmas tradition that's bound to stick!

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  11. My family does it too! LOVE the tradition :) Keep it going for sure!

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  12. My dad is German, and we always played hide the pickle ornament. It certainly is a German tradition in our house.

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  13. I absolutely love this idea and will certainly be looking for a pickle ornament in the future! The question is: how many trees got knocked over at your house during the pickle hunt? I'm thinking we'd have some casualties at our house :)

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  14. We don't do the pickle thing but I've always loved it!!!

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  15. We do the pickle, too! We love it! I love it(because as a kid, I always won!)

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  16. I am also in possession of a Christmas pickle, but the extent of the tradition is putting it on the tree with the other ornaments to surprise sharp-eyed guests unfamiliar with holiday cucumbers.

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  17. My family does that too! Fascinating how such funny little traditions stick!

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  18. My dad was German (immigrated to Canada) and we never, ever did this nor had he ever heard of it. He had 8 brothers and sisters. Some of his sisters had 8 children so you can imagine how many aunts, uncles and cousins I have all over Germany. I have asked many of them over the years if they were familiar with this tradition and not one of them were. I myself have been to Germany at Christmas time and I neither witnessed it nor did any German I spoke to (and I spoke to many at the huge Christkindlmarkt in Karlsruhe)know of this tradition. I am certain this originated in the US. It sounds fun though, but I wish people would stop calling it an "old German" tradition. I would call it an old US tradition.

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    Replies
    1. Ok calm down the story says some say its a German tradition some say its to sell more pickles. Everyone knows its nt German, we don't need a backstory.

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  19. I have looked everywhere for a box to put them in. I bought like 15 :) but I have yet to find a box any ideas of how to "wrap" them??

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  20. We do this every year and its not German!

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  21. My kids love finding the pickle on the tree, but for us whoever finds it is the first to open a gift.

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  22. We use the pickle.. my kids are older now and still like to look for the pickle... I will bring the pickle with me to my sons for Christmas.. hopefully my grandchildren will look for the pickle.

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  23. We had a pickle as kids. My mom would hide it when we were decorating the tree and then my sister and I would look for it. Instead of getting an extra present, who ever found the pickle first got to pass out the presents on Christmas morning. I like the idea of having Santa hide it though, might have to start that when I have kids.

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  24. I am a mortgage loan officer and for many years have sent a pickle ornament to my cients for their 1st Christmas in their new home so they can start a new tradition in their new home.

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  25. We started this with our grandchildren. They are both married and have continued the tradition in their own homes. Several of my friends have done this too.

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