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Here’s Why People Hide a Pickle In Their Christmas Tree

Christmas is one of those times where everyone you know has traditions of all kinds, and one of my favorites is hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree.

For those of you that think I am a crazy person, this is a real thing. On Christmas eve, someone hides a pickle ornament on the tree, and because it’s green, it’s super hard to find. If you’re the first person to find the ornament, you win a prize!

The ornaments come in all shapes and sizes. So, if you have older kids, then you can get a smaller pickle. It’s also a fun party game to play, hide the pickle!

The truth is, this is one of those crazy things that nobody knows for sure how it started, pretty much everyone you ask just says “Oh, I do this because my grandma used to.” But, there are a few theories…

Some people think that started in Germany. They’ve even given it a silly name, Weihnachtsgurk. But as it turns out, nobody in Germany knows a darn thing about this tradition. And what probably happened was– this was a marketing snafu gone weirdly– right?

Woolworths (think Walmart, in the 1890’s) was importing a couple of things from Germany, glass blown vegetables and Christmas decorations. Well, when they did this, some of the vegetables ended up as ornaments– specifically the cucumbers. And, they ended up looking more pickle than cucumber. So, they went with it!

Traditional last ornament on the Christmas tree

A few of the store clerks came up with the tradition of hiding the pickle in the tree, and an official Christmas tradition was born.

So next time you find a pickle in a sock, don’t attribute that to some awesome old world German tradition. Instead, give proper credit to the store clerks of yesteryear.

Have you ever wondered why we put oranges in stockings? Click here to find out.

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