I was Christmas shopping with Mary, my mom, and sisters ten years ago at the Mole Hole in The Fashion Mall. It was a groovy little store with expensive knick-knacks and lots of fake trees dripping with ornaments for purchase. During one of those eerily quiet moments when everyone stops talking all at once, Mary said something that has been recounted several times throughout the last decade. She was reminiscing about growing up in Des Moines and the special holiday traditions enjoyed by Grandma and Grandpa, when she loudly proclaimed, “Every Christmas Eve Mom and Dad would hide the pickle.” All shoppers within ear shot began laughing.
When the hilarity died down, Mary told us that it was a German tradition to hide a real pickle deep in the tree. On Christmas morning it was a scramble to see which kid would find the pickle, because it meant a bonus present and good luck in the coming year.
If you Google “hiding the pickle on Christmas Eve” you find all kinds of interesting images and stories. Like this
“In Old World Germany,
the last decoration placed on the
Christmas tree was a pickle
~ carefully hidden in the branches.
Legend says that the one
who found the pickle on
December 25 would be blessed
with a year of good fortune
and a special gift!
This tradition encourages children
to appreciate all the beautiful ornaments
on the tree, rather than rushing to see
what Santa has left for them.”
Does you know anything about hiding the pickle on Christmas Eve?
The Legend of the pickle box and ornament can be found on Slave to Target
’s blog and all other images can be found on flickr