The Origins Of The Christmas Pickle Ornament
Have you ever noticed that some people always include a pickle ornament among their Christmas tree decorations? Have you ever wondered, “Why a pickle?” The Christmas pickle is a funny tradition rooted in history, and it has a few different festive meanings.
In North America, many people associate the Christmas pickle with good luck. When decorating the Christmas tree, a pickle ornament is hidden somewhere among the branches. It is said that whoever first finds the pickle ornament will receive luck and good fortune throughout the year to come. So, where did this whole idea of a Christmas pickle come from?
Well, that really depends on who you ask. For decades, many Americans have associated the tradition of the Christmas pickle as coming from Germany. However, this tradition is completely unknown to Germans. One possible explanation is that in the 1890s, Woolworths became the first company to import and sell glass vegetable ornaments, including pickles.
However, the more widely-believed origin of the Christmas pickle comes from Camp Sumter during the American Civil War. The Bavarian-born Private John C. Lower had enlisted in the 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry, but was captured in April 1864 and taken to the prison camp. Folklore has it that on Christmas Eve, he begged a guard for a pickle as he was starving. The guard gave him the pickle, and Lower later revealed that the pickle was what saved his life. When Lower was reunited with his family, he began the tradition of hiding a pickle in their Christmas tree each year.
Whatever the true origin is, the Christmas pickle is a fun tradition that allows for lots of imagination. Hide a pickle ornament among your Christmas tree branches, and maybe the finder will be met with a great deal of prosperity in the year to come!