Why do we hide a pickle ornament in the Christmas tree?
Christmas is right around the corner. So, what better way to start off our blog, than to talk about the controversial tradition, the Christmas pickle. Have you ever heard about people hiding pickle ornaments in the Christmas tree, and the first person that finds the pickle gets a special gift ,or good luck for the following year?
Every year, most homes and buildings, of every town are decorated for Christmas. Some may just put up a tree, and some decorate every inch of their home. There are Christmas ornaments, some shiny, some sparkly, garland and lights draped across windows and wrapped around banisters. Some homes even have decorations that sing and play music when you walk past. Then, there are always a few in the neighborhood that will have a giant blow-up Santa in the yard. But no matter how you decorate; if at all, there is the question as to where the tradition of the Christmas pickle began.
Many parents wait until all their children have fallen asleep, then, they sneak down to the Christmas tree and place the pickle ornament among all the other ornaments. Since the pickle is green, it tends to blend in pretty well with the tree.
There are different beliefs about how the tradition of hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree started. Some people say that this tradition was started because, there was a pickle given to a Civil War prisoner, of German heritage who fought for the Union side, while held in a southern prison camp. It had been said that the soldier was begging for food, and a guard gave him a pickle. That prisoner claims it was the pickle that saved his life. After that, when the soldier went up north, back to his home, He placed a pickle on his tree. Phoenix Rosa said, what’s strange is that the custom supposedly derives from Germany, where it’s called Weihnachtsgurke (which literally translates to Christmas Pickle), yet doesn’t seem to be particularly popular there. There are also some that say the American tradition just might have started in the 1890s, when a photo was taken of Queen Victoria and her Christmas tree that revealed she decorated it with glass-blown ornaments. That very picture is said to have sparked blown-glass ornaments of vegetables to be placed on Christmas trees. Some people still believe that it is just a marketing scheme started by the five-and-dime store Woolworth Co., who came up with the story in the 1890s in order to help sell glass tree decorations imported from Germany. There are people who purchase a pickle ornament for every member of the family, so everyone has the chance to find a pickle and win a special prize. There was a market research firm YouGov , that conducted a poll of 2,057 Germans in 2016, 91% had never heard of the holiday tradition. According to The New York Times, it is being said, that it being an old German tradition is a myth. However here in America, it's a very popular tradition and most attribute it to Germany. However, there is a pretty convincing story that it started in a small town in Bavaria around the Polish border. It has been said that people of Polish heritage say, it's a tradition in their families. No matter what story you believe to be true, the silly pickle-themed game has become a tradition that many families do every year. Anytime spent with family is a blessing.
Do you have any silly or different traditions your family does every Christmas? Do you hide a pickle in your Christmas tree? Tell us in the comments below.
Have a very Merry Christmas!