For many years the Anderson family has had a tradition where on Christmas Eve we play hide the pickle. I swear, its not as weird as it sounds. The tradition goes something like this- Mom hides a pickle ornament on the tree, and then everyone has to come and find it. The lucky person to happen across the pickle first gets an extra present, usually something sweet and delicious. It’s a ton of fun, and I highly recommend it to everyone. Usually the search goes on for some time, because my Dad, my Brother and myself are absolutely useless at finding anything. If the pickle doesn’t fall into our outstretched hands we are completely useless.
I was always told that the origin of the pickle comes from Germany. In fact, Alex recently bought us a pickle to put on our tree, and in the box it had an explanation of where this particular tradition comes from. Its says:
“The pickle ornament was considered a very special tree decoration by many families in Germany. There, the fir tree was traditionally decorated on Christmas Eve. For good luck, the pickle always was the last ornament to be hung on the tree with mother and father hiding it in the green boughs among the other ornaments. When the children were allowed to view the splendor of the decorated tree on Christmas morning they would gleefully begin searching for the pickle ornament. They knew that whoever found that special ornament first would receive an extra little gift left by St. Nicholas for the most eager child.”
How cute is that? As soon as I read this, I thought “oh man, what a perfect holiday blog post!” I started to research the pickle just to have a little but more information on the subject, and I honestly wish I had left the subject alone. Cause I found out it’s a total crock. What a bummer.
No one really knows for sure where the pickle came from or how it started; there are several different theories, however. The one thing that everyone can agree on is the pickle didn’t have nothing to do with Germany. I’m told that when Americans get all excited to tell their German friends about the great pickle hunt, Germans don’t have a clue what the hell the Americans are talking about.
The most amusing explanation I came across was back in the 1890s or thereabout, Woolworth’s got a huge shipment of ceramic veggies from France. No one really got them, or understood what the hell they were for, so for the most part sales on glass cucumbers were not stellar. So, everyone at Woolworth’s was all like “You guys, haven’t you heard? This is this super awesome and definitely ancient German tradition where, um, you hide the pickle on a tree, and someone finds it, or something, and more presents.” Everyone else be like “Really?” Woolworth’s says “Totally.” Everyone else goes “Shut up and take my money!” And thus the tradition was born!
Ever since then we have been hiding glass veggies and when our friends look at us funny we regale them with the story of the pickle. Even if it isn’t true, and the pickle has nothing at all to do with Germany, its still a whole bunch of fun. And for a country of immigrants like we are, its nice to have a tradition the we can all, decidedly, call American.
Happy Holidays! Because this is a special time of year, I will also include a picture of our two beautiful kitties, Mouse and Junebug. You’re welcome.