The Christmas Pickle Ornament

We were at Chicago’s venerable Christkindlmarket today, perusing the holiday ornaments while enjoying bretzels and roasted cashews, when we noticed a huge basket of glass ornaments shaped like pickles. “Odd,” we both said. But then we saw them at another booth, and again at another. What gives? We were intrigued. Finally, in one of the ornament shops, in the midst of yet-again vocalizing how confused we were by the pickle ornaments, a woman behind us jumped in: in her family, one person puts/hides the pickle ornament in the tree, and the person who finds the pickle ornament gets to open presents first, or gets an extra gift. And it was not just her family: apparently the Christmas pickle is a huge tradition! Though some people claim the pickle has German origins, it is probably actually an American or German-American tradition that took root in the late 19th century, just as glass ornaments were being popularized. Even though its origins are shrouded in mystery we like the idea that it is supposed to bring good luck!

Christmas Pickle Ornament

Christmas Pickle Ornament (and Danbo friend) by Meagan


Filed under Holidays

5 responses to “The Christmas Pickle Ornament

  1. I have a Christmas pickle!!!! Didn’t know you were supposed to turn it into a game on Christmas morning though.

  2. You should make it a game now! We were going to get one, and then realized that with only two people in the house, we’d have to hire a third party to hide it for us.

  3. Rajiv just hid it. My parents are coming for the holidays, so we’ll be able to do it.

  4. Get one anyway. They’re hilarious and people are like “Is…that? Is that a pickle?”

  5. Pingback: Bretzels at the Chicago Christkindlmarket | Eating The World

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