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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Advent Calendar 2012 - the truth about the German pickle ornament

How many have read this? Do you believe this story? NO, NO, NO I say. All fallacy. I was born in Germany to a German mother, with German grandparents. I did not leave Europe until I was almost 21. That makes 20 German Christmases I witnessed first hand. NEVER was there a pickle on our Christmas tree. If the old black and white photos were better I could enlarge them and show you - Christmas trees devoid of green pickles.

First off, St Nikolaus comes on December the 6th. Not Christmas.
Then, the tree is not set up until Christmas eve, by the Christkind (Christ child).
So never do St Nick and the tree come together!

German children open presents on Christmas Eve, not Christmas day as the legend tells.

Third, if you ask a German, they will never have heard this story. I was so surprised to see this after I came here and just laughed. Called my mother long distance to see if my she and Oma had omitted anything from the tree, like say a pickle.. Nope.. they did not.

Now there is a company in Germany that makes Christmas ornaments including the aforementioned pickle. Some visitors have reported that a few Germans have been seen hanging a pickle in the tree and follow the tradition mentioned on the packaging. Reminds me of the Elf on the shelf, like a fad. But really NOT a real German tradition. Who cooked this up is still up in the air. Any clues??


RhondaBuss said...

Well, it's good to get the true story. I was given a pickle ornament a few years ago with the "tradition" attached. I had never heard of this although I grew up around many Germans. I thought that maybe they had lost the tradition once they came to America.

Alycia Nichols said...

No idea who got this started or why...just another way to make money like Valentine's Day commercialism! You know how gullible and guilted into buying stuff we Americans can be! :-) My first husband was German. I'll ask him and my sister-in-law if they ever heard of such a thing.

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

haha...I fell for it...we have had a "pickle" for about 20 years...and it is already hidden on the tree this year for the adult kids and their cousins to find...oh well, we are polish and irish, and it is certainly a tradition here! Merry Christmas

Entertaining Women said...

A friend gave me the pickle ornament about six years ago, and told me about hiding it on the tree. I don't think that she told me about a German tradition, but we have great fun watching the kids search for it. The winner gets $20.00. We can't hide it until early Christmas morning because they'll already have it scoped out and kill each other getting to the tree. Glad to know the real story...some marketing marvel made it all up. Merry Christmas! Cherry Kay

Connie said...

I have always wondered about this pickle thing . . . thanks :)
Merry Christmas,
Connie :)
P.S. you have a very lovely blog :)

A Haus to Call Home said...

Marlis, I just discovered your blog and I love it! My husband is from Bavaria and he has never heard of the pickle "tradition" either. We try to follow all of the German Christmas traditions like putting the tree up on Christmas Eve and opening gifts the same evening. The first couple of years we were married, my mother-in-law shipped over tree candles and clips...but I've always been afraid to use them...our American trees are so dry by the time Christmas Eve arrives! I'm taking a break from blogging, but I look forward to returning to yours and reading more! Michelle


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