Sunday, December 23, 2012

THE CHRISTMAS PICKLE




Several years ago I started a new Christmas tradition with my kids. The Christmas Pickle Ornament. To tell you the truth I don’t even remember how I came to hear of it. What I had learned was that you could purchase an ornament that looked like a pickle. On Christmas Eve, you’d hide the pickle on the tree, and come Christmas morning the kids would get up and search for it. The first one to find it would get a gift.

This was all I knew about the Pickle ornament. Nothing else. So I happened to come across the ornament and decided to implement the tradition in my own home. Not knowing who would find the pickle, I’d purchase a gift that would suit everyone. Usually a movie or one of those obnoxious holiday stuffed animals that sing and dance. The kids quickly caught on, having a blast with it.

A few years into someone did the unthinkable…they broke the pickle ornament. Yikes! I thought, what were the odds of ever finding another one. So I had a mission…to search high and low, whatever it took to find another pickle. And search I did, and found I had. I wasn’t about to let that happen again and purchased not one, but several.

Each year I purchase my kids a new ornament for the tree, usual pertaining to something they did that year, like played baseball, karate, started playing an instrument, or things they were really into like Hannah Montana. That sort of stuff. On each one I write their name and the year it was purchased. One day when they marry, they’ll be given to them for their own tree. That's where the extra pickles came in. Why not purchase each of them their very own pickle ornament as well.

My kids have such a blast each year taking out the ornament, remembering specifically each one and why they received it that year. They make sure they get to hang their own ornaments and no one else. They love it so much they insist on taking them down as well.

Each year the kids promptly remind me about the pickle ornament. They so love to search for it. It’s been fun over the years to see how it’s evolved. I have four kids, the age difference between the first two is almost eleven years, and then comes four years and lastly, less then two. For several years my older two would help the younger ones, allowing them to find the pickle. Now that their older, it’s every kid for themselves.

But with this family Christmas tradition, there was the ignorance of how The Christmas Pickle Ornament originated. So with the first pickle being broken, the purchase of the new ones provided us with the story behind it.

THE CHRISTMAS PICKLE ORNAMENT

In Old World Germany, the last decoration placed on the Christmas Tree was always a pickle…carefully hidden deep in the boughs. Ledged has it that the observant child who found it on Christmas Day was blessed with a year of good fortune…and a special gift.

4 comments:

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Wow, you have some very creative ideas. Wish that I would have collected ornaments that pertained to each kid and reflected each year of the their lives. Don't get me wrong, I've collected some cool ornaments over the years, but your idea is soooo cool. Guess it's too late for my two eldest sons. They're both in college, but maybe I'll begin a collection for my eleven year old. Then when the grandkids come someday I'll start a collection for them. BTW, if you don't mind sharing, where did you buy the pickle ornament. I would like to introduce that tradition to my family.

Kym McNabney said...

My mother started the ornament buying each year when we were a bit older, and I continued it. My kids just love remembering each one as they put them on the tree each year. The first pickle ornament I purchased was from a magazine, Miles Kimball, maybe. I remember when it broke. I was frantic that I wouldn’t be able to find another, and in time. Luckily I did at a Hallmark store. This was years ago. Later I found a different one with the pickle story included. I purchased five of them. One as a spare, and four others to give my children when they get married and start their own family. You can also purchase them on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/175-1625386-0908032?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=pickle ornament. I love the idea of starting it now, even though your daughter is older, and then continuing it with your future grandchildren. Traditions have to start somewhere. Why not right now, with you.

E.D. said...

That is so interesting - I must admit that I have never heard of the Old German tradition even though I am part German!
Happy New Year!

Kym McNabney said...

E.D., The tradition is really fun for the kids. I hadn't heard of it myself until I was an adult.

Have a great New Years.

Blessings,
Kym