Talking about Christmas traditions
L: Also, whoever– The way we decided who opens their presents first is that there’s one uhhhh ornament on the tree that is a pickle, and whoever finds it first gets to open the first present.
ME: I heard about this from my friend A!!
ME: A was talking about a Christmas pickle
L: do you know where it’s from?
ME: no I have no idea
L: I don’t know where it’s from
ME: her [A’s] guess was like: someone in America was like let’s make a Christmas pickle and try to sell it. That was her guess.
L: yeah, no yeah, we have a Christmas pickle. It’s sparkly
ME: You have a Christmas pickle that’s uh an ornament
L: I’ll show it to you
ME: tell me what– tell me about the Christmas pickle
L: ok so the Christmas pickle, that’s from my dad’s side of the family. Ummm. I don’t even know where it came from, I should really ask them. But like I just remember ever since I was a little kid ‘find the pickle.’ it would always be my grandparents who would hide it on the tree and then like we would all search for it. I usually was the one to find it first. I’m not kidding, like almost every year. I don’t know why, I’m usually not that observant, but umm yeah the Christmas pickle. Loved it. Umm yeah, don’t know where it came from. And we would always go from there, youngest to eldest for opening presents. One at a time, always. Like that stuck.
This tradition was shared with me by a friend after going grocery shopping together when we sat in my bedroom to do schoolwork together.
L is a Jewish-American USC student studying sociology who grew up in Colorado.
Christmas games and present-giving styles vary greatly from house to house. The Christmas pickle seems one such game/style. Before this year I was unfamiliar with the tradition.
L says she has no idea where the practice came from, but that she loves it. I offer that the tradition may have been started by a company with the intention of profiting off of selling Christmas pickles. This style of tradition creation is not unprecedented, especially in America.