...Here's the pickle “legend” from one Web site: “A very old Christmas eve tradition in Germany was to hide a pickle [ornament] deep in the branches of the family Christmas Tree. The parents hung the pickle last after all the other ornaments were in place. In the morning they knew the most observant child would receive an extra gift from St. Nicholas. The first adult who finds the pickle traditionally gets good luck for the whole year.” This Christmas pickle story, with a few minor variations, can be found all over the Web and in print inside the ornament package. It says that 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 morning gets a special treat or an extra present.
Of course, anyone familiar with German Christmas customs can see the flaws in this “legend.” First of all, the German St. Nick doesn't show up on Christmas Eve. He arrives on the 5th or 6th of December. Nor do German children open their presents on Christmas morning. That happens on Christmas Eve in Germany. (See our German Christmas Guide for more about German Christmas customs.)But the biggest problem with the German pickle (saure Gurke, Weihnachtsgurke) tradition is that no one in Germany seems to have ever heard of it....
Monday, December 18, 2006
Finally, the long nightmare is over.