Here’s Why People Put Pickles Christmas Trees — A Family Tradition For Many People

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If you’re over Elf on the Shelf (and dear heavens, who isn’t) and looking for something new and fun to try with your kids, how about this – buy a pickle ornament to hang on your tree.

No one knows exactly where or how the tradition began, but Wide Open Country says that it goes like this: on Christmas Eve, parents put a pickle ornament on the tree after the kids go to bed, and the first child to spot it on Christmas morning gets to open the first gift (or an extra gift, or gets to hand out presents, whatever fits your family).

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The custom is called Weihnachtsgurke, or the Christmas Pickle, and also promises the person who finds it will have good luck in the year to come.

Despite the name, it’s not a practice modern Germans participate in, so no one is really sure where it came from, though in 1880, F.W. Woolworth started importing glass pickle ornaments to his stores and promoting the tradition in order to sell them.

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Regardless of how it started, there’s a solid chance your family will love it. And if you find yourself suddenly in the market for a pickle ornament, Amazon has a few choices – realistic, animated, glittery, or a box of a dozen (if you’ve got a houseful on Christmas, one probably won’t do!) – so get to shopping, people!

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And banish that creepy elf to the attic where he belongs.