Many cultures have their Christmas traditions. Most commonly is Santa Claus, otherwise known in England as Father Christmas and other names in different countries. But placing a pickle ornament on your tree?
This is a custom I haven’t heard of, but it’s one I might start following this holiday season.
If you’re the fortunate one who finds the hidden pickle ornament, it’s you’re lucky day. Your host might gift you with a unique present. You’ll also be blessed with good luck during the next year.
This is a fun game you can play on Christmas Day with the little and big people at your holiday party. We aren’t exactly sure where this tradition began. In fact, there are a few origins. One of which involves Santa Claus himself.
It was thought this tradition started in Germany. But in the 1890’s ornaments from Germany were popular in the United States. Woolworth’s began selling pickles during this period too. So the rumor that this tradition started there can be attributed to the popularity of the German-inspired holiday ornaments rather than the pickles.
Another fact to disprove this practice began in Germany is that it doesn’t exist there; pickle ornaments are only placed on trees in North America.
The next origin of the Christmas pickle comes from the American civil war era. Private John C. Lower was a member of the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry. He was captured and taken to a Confederate prison camp. Legend goes that the private was near starvation when he begged a Confederate soldier for a pickle. Taking pity on him, the soldier fulfilled his request.
The soldier saved him from dying. Every Christmas after that, it was said that Lower hid a pickle on his tree for good luck.
The final story about the origin of the Christmas pickle involves dear old Saint Nick saving two Spanish children. This story comes from Berrien Springs, Michigan. Legend has it that Santa rescued the children who were locked away in a pickle barrel by a mean innkeeper. Every year in Berrien Springs, there’s a pickle festival where the residents celebrate their German heritage.
Despite where this practice originated, it’s captured the hearts of American families for generations. Who doesn’t love the idea of good luck? Will you be hiding a pickle on your tree this year?