According to German tradition, The tradition of Weihnachtsgurke, or the Christmas Pickle, was the last ornament placed on the tree. On Christmas morning, the first child to find the gherkin was rewarded with an extra gift left by St. Nicholas. This tradition encouraged the children to appreciate all the ornaments on the tree, rather than hurrying to see what St. Nick has left for them.
The Tradition of the Christmas Pickle
It’s Christmas, a time of jingle bells, stockings, presents under the tree and family traditions. Celebrate the holidays with a time honored, German tradition and have fun with your family for years to come! Following an Old World custom, parents waited until Christmas Eve to hide a small pickle ornament on the Christmas tree, tucking it out of sight among the branches.
On Christmas morning, the first family member to spot the pickle was rewarded with a special blessing and good luck for the coming year and received the first present from under the tree.
What’s the Origin?
The Christmas Pickle originally may have stemmed from German descendants who settled in the American Midwest. Legend has it that a starving German Civil War soldier pleaded for a pickle from his Confederate captors on Christmas Eve, and survived. Another version of the Christmas Pickle tale says that two boys were trapped in a pickle barrel by an evil innkeeper, and were rescued by St. Nicholas.