The German Christmas Pickle - Long Tradition or Complete Myth??
Well...that post definitely got some response! And it was pretty clear that there was nothing German about the Pickle tradition but that it was a tradition and a much loved one!
So what is this supposed tradition and where did it come from?
Also - the extra gift could not be given by St. Nikolaus because he shows up in German Christmas in early December (remember him - he's the guy who fills kids' shoes with candies on December 5 or 6)(I'm not sure why Germans would be concerned about a Pickle Ornament tradition when they can accommodate shoe-filling!!).
We have hosted 6 young people from Germany over the years and I've polled most of them to see if they've heard of the Pickle story...they have not (and neither had their parents!).
So where did this crazy and wonderful tradition come from?
There are a couple of less than convincing stories out there about a civil war soldier and about boys being saved from a barrel - they're not great stories.
The explanation I enjoy (maybe because I've always been in marketing) is this one lifted here from Wikipedia:
"It has been suggested that the origin of the Christmas pickle may have been developed for marketing purposes in the 1890s to coincide with the importation of glass Christmas tree decorations from Germany. Woolworths was the first company to import these types of decorations into the United States in 1890 and glass blown decorative vegetables were imported from France from 1892 onwards. Despite the evidence showing that the tradition did not originate in Germany, the concept of Christmas pickles has since been imported from the United States and they are now on sale in the country traditionally associated with it."
But wherever this tradition comes from it has caught on - and not just on this side of the Atlantic. Ornament producers are pumping out Christmas Pickles to keep up. And for a company like Inge-Glas that mouth blows each of their ornaments that's a whole lot of hot air!
Join the Christmas Pickle fun and start your own tradition! For 2019 we've got two Pickle Ornaments from Inge-Glas to choose from - The Legendary Pickle and the smaller Christmas Pickle.
Owner @ Gingerbread World