Why The Pickle on a Tree, It’s a Big Dill in New York
In my house growing up, we always celebrated Christmas. We were the family who trekked out for a live tree every year. We even managed to get an evergreen tree the year we lived in Hawaii. Believe it or not, it was easier to get a real tree at Christmas than a real pumpkin for Halloween in Hawaii in the 80s.
We were also the family that had decorations that had been passed down from generation to generation. We got new ornaments each year but we also always had some that had been in the family for decades. I had a great aunt who made ornaments for Lord & Tayor department stores so we really had some beautiful ones. We often had more ornament than we had room for on the tree and in all those ornaments, not one Christmas pickle.
Why Do People Put a Pickle Ornament on their Christmas Tree?
That's right I grew up never hearing about the Christmas pickle which is so popular now it actually has social media groups designed just around it. You might not have had the Christmas pickle ornament at your house either but why I find it odd is that it has its roots in Germany and I have german relatives on both sides of my family. You'd think someone would have known the Christmas pickle tradition and shared it.
So what is the Christmas Pickle ornament tradition? Basically, it is where you take an ornament that depicts a pickle and hang it on your tree. Then the first child to spot it gets to apparently do one or two of a few things. Some tradition says they get to open a present first. Some even say that child gets an extra present. Others say they also get the honor of being the person who gets to hand out all the gifts.
The History of the Christmas Pickle
The Farmer's Almanac actually gives a lot of detail on the history of the Christmas Pickle which apparently began around 1880 when Woolworth stores imported and sold ornaments from Germany that were fruits and vegetables. According to Farmer's Almanac, that's when the Christmas Pickle tradition got started. Germans apparently didn't even know about it.
It is likely that the “tradition” was a clever invention by an enterprising salesman with the hopes that a charming tale would lead to more sales of these unusual ornaments. (via Farmer's Almanac online)
Delish backs up the stories from the Farmer's Almanac and also gives a few details of its own including listing popular pickle ornaments for purchase and their designers in case you need a pickle ornament for your tree. My favorite is number 6 on their list, the glass-blown pickle chips which must be popular because it is currently unavailable on Amazon.
Before I close out this pickle article I want to share a few things. First is that Corey's Pickles in Montgomery, New York, which are very good by the way offer a pickle fundraising package if you have an organization that is looking for a delicious way to raise money.
Second is that the Hudson Valley's popular pickle festival held annually announce back in October that they will have a new location in 2023. The Rosendale International Pickle Festival is moving to the Ulster County Fair Grounds for its next season.
Christmas Pickle Christmas Carols and Videos
The third is this adorable Christmas Pickle Carol video I found on YouTube, Spoiler alert pickles to get eaten in the making of this video.
Don't hate me here's one more .....
Where to get a Christmas Pickle Ornament in the Hudson Valley
Looking to pick up a Christmas Pickle Ornament in the Hudson Valley check your favorite local gift shop then if you have no luck try Target, Lowes, Hobby Lobby, or any other place that sells Christmas ornaments.