The German Pickle Ornament

It’s Christmas Eve. Undoubtedly, you and your family are carefully planning and carrying out your own family traditions. I’d like to share with you one of ours.

Years ago, as my husband and I roamed the stores of the Epcot Center at Disneyworld, Florida, we came across a unique Christmas ornament. A green, uniquely shaped pickle. At first we laughed and thought, who would want a pickle on their Christmas tree? But, then we read the caption that came with it: “The Germans hang a pickle-shaped glass ornament on the Christmas tree hidden away so it’s difficult to find. The first child to find it on Christmas Eve gets a special treat or an extra present on Christmas morning.” Perfect!

We had only been married a couple of years and we were looking for some traditions of our own that we could start. We were both of German descent and this seemed like just the ticket. So, we bought the ornament and headed home. Now, admittedly, the validity of the tradition in Germany has been questioned. If you want to find out more, you can read all there is to know on the subject at But, for our family, it has become a wonderful tradition. I pass it on to you in case you can find some Christmas joy in this tradition.

Each year, we hide the pickle deep in the branches of the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, our kids go searching for it. Unlike the possible German tradition, the child who finds it, does not get an extra gift the next day. But, he or she does get to open the “First Gift of Christmas”. Then, following a tradition my parents started when I was a kid, they get to open a gift on Christmas Eve. Sometimes it’s PJs or slippers for everyone to wear that night. Sometimes it’s a Christmas movie to watch that night. But, always it’s a little something for everyone to enjoy together as they ring in the Holiday.

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About Janae

Hello from Colorful Colorado! My name is Janae and I live at the edge of the beautiful Rockies with my six kids and wonderful husband. We’re a busy family who loves to work together, learn together, and most of all, play together. Like a post? Please comment.
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2 Responses to The German Pickle Ornament

  1. Emily says:

    I just found our pickle ornament and claimed my prize! My mom still puts hers on her tree and my husband and I get pretty competitive – I think we almost knocked down the tree tonight!

  2. Kathryn Agren says:

    I bought a collection of glass ornaments and there in the middle was the glass pickle. It stayed in the box because I was the same as you! But now…

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