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Hip2Save This Holiday: Pickle Tradition

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Amy…

My family comes originally from Germany. Every year at Christmas we partake in the Christmas pickle hunt. According to legend, pickles were commonly used to decorate Christmas trees in Germany. Based on this, they have since created pickle ornaments.

The tradition is that after the tree is decorated, the last ornament hung is the pickle, hidden deep into the tree. Then on Christmas morning our family holds a pickle hunt. The first child to find the pickle gets an extra treat/present marked for the “pickle finder.” The present/extra gift our family usually gives to the “pickle finder” is a small card/board game so that it can be shared with all. To this day, it is a beloved tradition in our family, my sister and I still search for the pickle on Christmas morning even though we are now 21 and 24 years old.

It was always fun to participate in the hunt even if you didn’t find the pickle. I have always loved trying to find the entirely green ornament on the huge tree, and my parents have enjoyed trying to hide it in a challenging place each year. So that is my holiday tradition I wanted to share. Happy Holidays to all!


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75 Hip Readers Commented

  • Alison says:

    Growing up, my family also had the pickle tradition. My brothers and I would all fight over who was going to find the pickle on my grandma’s tree. Whoever found it, got 50 bucks! I am married now, and was given a pickle ornament for my tree. I hope to carry on the tradition when we have children.

    • jessica says:

      My family did this as well growing up we loved it! Its something extra it was nice to see others know about the pickle tradition my husband laughed at me at first cant blame him when you think about it lol I hadn’t until then but thanks for the tips as where to find them my mom wouldn’t give up hers lol

  • Shauna R. says:

    Such a cute idea! Never heard or even thought of anything like it…I might have to try it this year! :)

  • Pat says:

    Wow! I never heard of this. It sounds like fun. I grew up in Germany (been stateside 15 years) and we never did this. All we did was light the candles on the tree and sing german christmas carols and end with O Taunenbaum! Then we would all have some gluhwein (or hot apple cider for the kids). Might have to start this tradition with my granddaughter.

  • chrissyq says:

    We also are german and do the pickle ornament each year! the boys are now 29 and 27 and our new daughter in law has been in on the hunt for the last couple years! our rule is you need to point and shout I found it and then carefully remove it, as in years past the boys would almost knock the tree over trying to find it!! reward is usually about $10.00. I purchased them each their own pickles for when they have children!

  • Brittnee says:

    Our family shares this tradition and its not as fun as it sounds. Everyone has to enter the room with the tree at the same time to make the ‘searching’ fair, and our pickle is about the size of a quarter so it takes a while to find. My sister wakes up very early and I’d rather sleep in a bit later, but instead I have to wake up at 6am to go looking for a stupid pickle. We’ve been playing this game since we were kids, now we’re adults and still playing, but Ive never liked it much. I prefer a quite cup of coffee before all the activity starts.

  • Loretta says:

    We have 3 pickles on our tree every year but not for the typical reason. Our pickles have our names on them for a fun twist on our last name that is “Pickel”. We don’t hide ours they are front and center on the tree.

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