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How the Christmas Pickle Tradition Got Started

How the Christmas Pickle Tradition Got Started will give you a fun new idea for your family to enjoy on Christmas morning.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to make your holiday special, 55 Old Fashioned Christmas Ideas and 21 Hygge Christmas Ideas to Warm Your Soul will help you on your journey.

How the Christmas Pickle Tradition Got Started - Christmas Pickle Ornament on a tree
Christmas Pickle Ornament

Creating a Cozy Life Group

Since you found this article on The Tradition of the Pickle Christmas ornament, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 65,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cottage.

Here’s the Tradition of the Christmas Pickle:

Pickle Christmas Ornament

You’ve stumbled into a mystery – the puzzle of the Christmas Pickle ornament.

Initially, the Christmas pickle legend was thought to be an old German tradition.

It turns out that theory appears to be a myth. Most people in Germany haven’t even heard of Christmas pickles for the tree.

There’s another story about an American Civil War soldier who was starving, and a pickle he ate on Christmas Eve saved him.

Rumors also swirl about St. Nicholas saving two boys in a barrel of pickles.

How the tradition got started

The actual tradition probably began with a marketing campaign.

In the 1880s, Woolworth stores started importing glass ornaments from Germany.

Some of the ornaments were in the shape of fruit and vegetables. Pickle ornaments were part of the group.

It is now believed that a salesperson created the Legend of the Christmas Pickle ornament to sell more ornaments.

They were successful.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, an ornament in the shape of a pickle is hidden on the Christmas tree.

Because the tree is green, the pickle can be a little tough to find, blending into the branches.

Christmas Pickle Ornament

Old German Christmas Pickle Ornament hanging from a Christmas tree
Old German Christmas Pickle Ornament

Christmas Morning

The first child that finds the pickle ornament receives an extra present from under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

You can have the gift be from you or Santa Claus.

For some families, the gift of finding the pickle on Christmas morning gives the finder good luck all year long.

Christmas Pickle Glass Ornaments Gift Idea

The Christmas pickle makes a special gift for friends and family. It’s a great way to teach others about this fun tradition.

You could add other things like a jar of gourmet pickles, pickling spices, and a pickling cookbook.

Christmas Pickle Ornament

Here’s the Christmas pickle ornament on Amazon in a gift box.

Christmas Pickle Ornament

Pickling Spices

A bag of pickling seasoning blend

Pickling Spices

Gourmet Pickles

Wickles Pickles are made from a recipe that’s over 70 years old

Gourmet Wickles Pickles

The Complete Guide to Pickling: Pickle and Ferment Everything Your Garden or Market has to Offer

Complete Guide to Pickling Book

One of my readers, Amanda, shared with me that she shares this tradition with her cat too. She bought her cat a catnip pickle toy! I thought it was a great idea.

Catnip Pickle Toy for Cats

Fun Facts about Pickles

  1. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average American eats 8 1/2 pounds of pickles per year. (Fun fact: I’m eating pickles right now as I write this article!)
  2. November 14th is National Pickle Day.
  3. Cleopatra believed pickles helped make her beautiful. She ate them regularly.
  4. Shakespeare coined the phrase “In a pickle” in 1611 in his play The Tempest.
  5. In Mississippi, they make Kool-Aid pickles. You take dill pickles and cut them in half. Soak them in strong Kool-Aid for a week in the refrigerator.

We’ve reached the end of the Pickle Ornament for Christmas History. I hope you enjoyed it!

Don’t forget to take a look at the Cozy Living Group. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.

More Christmas Articles You’ll Love

Christmas Pickle Tradition - Pin for Pinterest - Christmas Pickle Ornament on Christmas tree
How the Christmas Pickle Tradition Got Started – Christmas Pickle Ornament

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Saturday 4th of December 2021

Super interesting! My mom has always hidden the Christmas pickle for the grandkids. She's visiting for Christmas and I can't wait to ask if she knows the real (likely) origin story! In a related note, I have bought my cats a pickle catnip toy and am excited to share the wacky tradition with them.


Sunday 5th of December 2021

Hello Amanda!

I'm so glad your mom did this tradition with you. I love it! What a cute idea on catnip pickle for your cat. I'm going to swipe your idea and add it to the post! Kelly

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