The Christmas pickle is a tradition in German-American culture. It is a decorative, ornamental glass pickle. Each year, a parent would hide the pickle somewhere on the Christmas tree, and the first child to find the pickle wins a prize. Yes, as ridiculous and made up as it may seem, it is really a thing. While there is no definitive origin of where the Christmas pickle came from, most experts agree that it was most likely a marketing ploy in the late 19th century to get Americans to buy the pickle, which was made using glass from Germany. My parents, specifically my mother, who is of German descent, introduced the Christmas pickle tradition to my family when I was a young child. Each year, they would hide the pickle on the tree on New Year’s Day. They would then tell us to look for the pickle on the tree. The first person to find the pickle would get a prize. For my family and I, the Christmas pickle is associated with the end of the holidays and the 12 Days of Christmas. This is because we do the Christmas pickle game every year on the evening of January 1st, New Year’s Day, the day before we go back to school.
– Thomas K.