Author Archives: blackban

The Christmas Pickle

The Christmas Pickle. I learned about this Christmas tradition for the first time from one of my friends. To quote her explanation, “Every Christmas we use the same pickle ornament, usually my dad hides it in the tree, and whoever finds it on Christmas day gets to open a present first.” It’s a fun tradition that she has been doing ever since she was a little girl. She says that it didn’t start until her sister was at their neighbor’s for a Christmas party and took one of the ornaments, a pickle. It was later explained to her family by the same neighbors of the tradition and they have done it ever since. The tradition itself apparently comes from a story of a German-American prisoner who was taken prisoner during the Civil War. Starving, he begged a guard to give him one last pickle before he died. The pity pickle gave him the mental and physical strength to live on. This story is much harsher than its Christmas counterpart but nonetheless displays a sense of fortune and luck through a pickle.

Children’s Expressions

A quote that one of my friends grew up with is, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” He talked about how when he was in kindergarten the quote, “was taught to us by our teacher.” He said that the quote existed for the fact that when the children in the class would get a prize that they didn’t want, they would just have to suck it up. What I find interesting about this quote is the fact that I learned it differently. When I was in kindergarten, the quote was, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” It’s funny because when I was discussing the etymology of the quote with another friend they also agreed with the first quote. This was a weird revelation for me because all of the people from where I grew up learned it the same way and the fact that someone, who only grew up a couple of hours up north from me, believed so adamantly that theirs was the ‘right’ version of the saying. It’s interesting to try to attribute a ‘right’ meaning to something like this. The main argument by my friend was the fact that his version rhymed and mine didn’t. At the end of the day, the correctness of the quote doesn’t matter as the phrase exists as a way for teachers to keep children’s expectations in place. It is a saying that children enjoy its simplicity and the fact that it is something told to them by their teacher, someone who they listen to and respect.