Christmas pickle

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The Christmas pickle is a tradition related to the Christmas tree. A decoration in the shape of a cucumber is hidden on a Christmas tree as one of the decoration. According to some 19th century’s custom on Christmas morning, the first child to find the pickle on the tree would get an extra gift from Santa Claus or would have a year of good fortune for the following year. There are a number of different origin stories attributed to the tradition, but it was primarily thought to have originated in Germany. This has since been disproved and is now thought to be an American tradition from the late 19th century.  It’s true that the tradition is widely unknown in Germany however the tradition is commonly believed by Americans to come from Germany: as the Weihnachtsgurk, but it’s also possible that is probably apocryphal.

It has been suggested that the origin of the Christmas pickle may have been developed for marketing purposes in the 1890s to coincide with the importation of glass Christmas tree decorations from Germany. Woolworths were the first company to import these types of decorations into the United States in 1890 from the famous Lauscha factory (founded in the 16th century) glass blown decorative vegetables were imported from France from 1892 onwards. Despite the evidence showing that the tradition did not originate in Germany, the concept of Christmas pickles has since been imported from the United States and they are now on sale in the country is traditionally associated with it.

Berrien Springs, Michigan is known as the Christmas pickle capitol of the world, and holds a yearly pickle festival in early December. A pickle parade has been held since 1992. The village is in the area of Michigan known for cucumber production.

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2 thoughts on “Christmas pickle

    dorogine said:
    November 30, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Hello
    I was so glad to find your blog on the “Weihnachtsgurke”. I was born and raised in Germany but have been living in Canada for about 28 years now.
    A few years ago one of my very good friends went to Frankenmuth, Michigan (they have a huge Christmasstore there) When she came back she gave around Christmas time she brought me back a present, I opened it and low and behold it was a Christmas Pickle, my friend was all excited having found this “German Tradition” for me but I only looked at her , slightly beweldred, as I had never seen a Pickle for a tree. Needless to say we joked about this endlessly. I investigated with my family and friends back in Germany but neither east or west Germans that I spoke to had every heard of this tradition.
    Thank you so much for clearing this up for me.

      spajzgirl responded:
      November 30, 2012 at 6:44 am

      I am so happy for you! I have been living in Germany for five years (in Münich) and I am still fascinated by the rich cultural life and the kindness of the people etc…(not the food! but that’s not thoroughly true because of the varieties of the cakes are amazing…and delicious…)
      thanks for stopping by I will check your stories…
      tschüss..

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