It’s a tradition. Some kind of tradition. Rumored to be of German origin, yet Germans have no idea what it is. So, I’ll have to assume that it’s not from my German ancestry, but rather American commercialism sparked over a hundred years ago that inspired this adorable little pickle ornament on my tree.
Honestly, I’d never heard of the Christmas Pickle until my mother in law bought us one to put on our tree, and there it’s found it’s home ever since.
My kids have never known Christmas without the Christmas Pickle, to them it’s been a holiday staple and one of the many holiday traditions we’ve always had in their less than a decade long life. Because of their love and excitement for it, we put it up every year, even though for us it’s just an ornament. The kids know what’s supposed to happen with it, yet we don’t really participate in the traditions that surround this little green holiday vegetable.
What’s supposed to happen is someone hides the pickle on the tree after everyone goes to bed on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas Day, the first person to find the pickle in the tree gets an extra little gift. Due to the negativity that usually sparks from our kids when it comes to a fun little competition like this we’ve avoided playing this game because our tree would probably wind up on the floor, or at least ornaments scattered everywhere as they fight to the death for that one little pickle. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but the kids do have a bit of a competitive streak, and even if we didn’t have a prize, they’d still fight over who could find it first. The same way they fight over who brings me a kleenex when I ask for one. The struggle is real.
I’ve contemplated some different ways of making this a bit more fun, mainly not telling them we’re doing it until Christmas day, then at least it’s supervised. Possibly not hiding the pickle until after everyone is awake, fed and possibly even a few gifts open. That means happy moods, right? From there the kids get to look for the pickle, without the obstacles of wrapped gifts to crush (yet another positive) and when they find it, the prize is a shareable gift. Maybe a treat, maybe a craft set, who knows. I can be creative when I want to be.
The girls are getting older and it’s time I let them work through some of these difficult emotions and really promote sportsmanship. Afterall, part of the spirit of the season is loving one another, so I think this would make for a great family conversation and demonstration, that will hopefully result in a broadened tradition for the kids to pass on for years to come.
Do you participate in the Christmas Pickle tradition? How do you celebrate with it? Tell me your ideas in the comments below.