Silly Christmas Decorations: The Story Of The Christmas Pickle

Every year when I get out all of the Christmas decorations, I always laugh when I get to the Christmas Pickle. Do you have a Christmas Pickle? Do you even know what the heck it is?

If you do have one, you probably know that it’s a tradition started long ago and you are supposed to hide the pickle in your Christmas tree. If you’ve never heard of the Christmas Pickle, you are now thinking that it’s the most bizarre thing you’ve heard in awhile. Either way, you might be curious to know the story behind the Christmas Pickle.

Have you heard of the Christmas Pickle? Do you know where the tradition began? Start a new tradition by getting your family this silly Christmas decoration!

What The Heck Is The Christmas Pickle All About?

Well, it depends on who you ask. The tradition of the Christmas Pickle is a weird one, and according to,  no one is quite sure why it exists at all! The way the tell it, in the 1880s Woolworth stores started selling glass ornaments imported from Germany and some were in the shape of various fruit and vegetables. It seems that pickles must have been among the selection, and were used to decorate Christmas trees. This one makes sense to me. As for where the hiding part comes in, your guess is as good as mine.

Wikipedia says that the Christmas pickle is a Christmas tradition in the US. (They don’t do this anywhere else?) The pickle is hidden on a Christmas tree, and the person who finds it receives either a reward or 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. Makes sense after reading about the Woolworth scenario, huh?

We received our Christmas Pickle at an ornament exchange, and I thought it was the weirdest but most interesting ornament I’d ever been given. There was no explanation that came with it, but I wish there was one. If you decide to give someone a Christmas Pickle, make sure to include this traditional poem along with it!

The Christmas Pickle Poem

To start a tradition that will surely last,

Here’s the story about the pickle of glass.

The night before Christmas, it’s hung on the tree

While everyone’s sleeping, it’s done secretly.

And on Christmas morning, when you arise,

The first one to find it will get a surprise!

A family tradition for all to share,

You’ll look for the pickle year after year.


  1. Confession: I have always wanted a Christmas pickle for our tree, but I am told that is weird. I am totally getting one now :) Katie recently posted..Teaching Inspires TeachersMy Profile