This 'Pickle On A Christmas Tree' Tradition Is Fun For The Whole Family

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
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Your kids will look forward to this pickle ornament tradition every year

If you’ve ever seen a pickle ornament on someone’s Christmas tree and wondered what the heck that was all about, buckle up — we have a little story for you. Oh, and once you hear it, you’re going to want to jump on this fun holiday tradition yourself — because your kids will freaking love it.

According to Wide Open Country, the legend goes that on Christmas Eve, parents put a pickle ornament on the tree and the first child to spot it is either given the first gift, an extra gift, or the coveted job of handing out the presents to everyone. Also, whoever finds it will have good luck for the next year. The custom is called Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle, and there’s some debate over its origin.

Some think it started in Germany a long time ago, but Tampa Bay Magazine says that’s unlikely as modern Germans don’t do it. A lot of pickle ornaments are made in Germany, but apparently they’re just to send out to other countries that enjoy this delightfully bizarre little holiday ritual. Instead, it’s said that F.W. Woolworth, the owner of a huge chain of old time-y five-and-dime stores, started importing glass pickle ornaments in 1880 and used the story about letting a kid find it to help sell them to Americans.

Whatever its beginnings, it’s a fun little tradition that any family can try out, and there’s absolutely no shortage of cute pickle ornaments to choose from:

There’s this very lovely one that most resembles an actual pickle.

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Or this happy little guy with his smiling pickle face.

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If you’re super extra, maybe this glittery number appeals to you.

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But if you have a whole bunch of cousins over and the lone pickle might be the start of a rollicking holiday tantrum fest, maybe go with a full dozen and let each kid find their own. Then pour every adult in the room a bunch of wines, because it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.

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Happy pickle hunting, y’all!

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