2165281034 a235f1c398 b

If you have never heard of the Christmas tradition called the “Christmas Pickle,” you are missing out.

The “Christmas Pickle” tradition is when a decoration or ornament in the shape of a pickle is hidden in a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The person who finds the pickle first receives a special present, gets to open the first gift or gets to hand out the presents for their family to open.

You may be wondering, “why a pickle, and where did this tradition come from?” Many Americans believe this is a tradition from Germany, and the pickle is often referred to as a Weihnachtsgurke, but evidence shows that the tradition did not originate in Germany.

Many families in Illinois celebrate this tradition, and hang a pickle ornament on their tree every year.

One suggested origin is that the tradition came from Camp Sumter during the Civil War in America. Bavarian-born Private John C. Lower had enlisted in the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, but was captured in April 1864 and taken to a prison camp. On Christmas Eve, he begged a guard for a pickle while starving, and the guard provided him with the pickle. Lower credited that pickle and guard for saving his life, and when he returned to his family in Bavaria, he began the tradition of hiding a pickle in the tree each year.

Another suggested origin of the tradition comes from Berrien Springs. It is a Victorian era tale of St. Nicholas saving two Spanish children who were trapped in a barrel of pickles by an innkeeper, but this story also derives from a gruesome medieval legend.

So, what do you think? Is the “Christmas Pickle” tradition something you see yourself doing with your family this year?

For more information on the pickle tradition, visit here: https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/reviews/br/apparel-br/holiday-br/the-christmas-pickle-tradition-does-your-family-do-it/