The Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle, © German Consulate Toronto

27.11.2018 - Article

“Germans love hanging pickle-shaped glass ornaments on their Christmas tree.” This might either sound very familiar or very strange to you. Let's be honest, who really knows the mystical story behind the Christmas Pickle?

In many parts of North America it is said that the Christmas Pickle is a beloved German tradition that is very important to all German families. The pickle is supposed to be the last ornament to be hung on the Christmas tree. Some claim that the first child to find it gets an extra gift. Others say that the one who finds the pickle first will have good luck for the following year. Even though most people here assume that it’s a German tradition, many Germans have not even heard of the so-called Christmas Pickle. A survey has shown that this applies to 90 percent of all Germans. How did this supposedly “German” tradition come to be celebrated in North America? One can only speculate about that. It could be that people got confused in the 1880s when Woolworth began selling Christmas ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts which were imported from Germany, among them a pickle. Maybe it is a German-American invention by someone who wanted to sell more glass ornaments for Christmas. Or does it even go back to the American Civil War? However, we find that Christmas Pickle story very entertaining. Whether you celebrate Christmas with or without a pickle, we wish you happy holidays.

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