The True Meaning Of Pickle Christmas Tree Ornaments

source: USA Today | iStockphoto/Meagan Baker

Growing up, my parents always decorated our house to the nines for the holidays. We always had massive Christmas trees with so many ornaments and decorations, you could barely see the tree’s branches. A few of my childhood friends would have a Christmas ornament in the shape of a pickle on their trees, and I always wondered what the meaning behind it was. If you, too, have been curious about why people hang a pickle Christmas ornament on their tree, I’m about to tell you!

source: Flickr/Mira Mechtley

According to Delish, the pickle ornament is a very old Christmas tradition that is thought to have roots in Germany. According to legend, the first person to find the pickle ornament on the tree is allowed to either open an extra present, open the first present, or be chosen for the special privilege of handing out the presents. It is also said that the person who finds the pickle ornament will receive great luck and fortune for the year to come.

source: The Curious Pretzel/Jamie Anderson

Perhaps the most mysterious part of this rather odd tradition is: why a pickle ornament? A pickle seems to be a strange choice, and the answer is somewhat complex. One legend suggests that a cruel innkeeper trapped two young boys in a pickle barrel, and Old Saint Nick was the one to set them free. A more popular theory (and probably the most realistic one) is that the tradition is based in marketing. In the 1840s, German glassblowers began making ornaments in the shape of fruit and nuts. So, the pickle ornament may have emerged from there.

source: The Cross Border Blog | flickr/Steven Miller

Interested in purchasing a pickle ornament and starting this longstanding tradition with your own family? You can buy your very own pickle ornament here, here, or here. Regardless of your Christmas traditions (or lack thereof), I hope everyone has a safe, merry, and happy holiday season!