C: It’s really pretty straightforward. Um, so ever since your mom was little, we put this pickle ornament on the Christmas tree. Just like a ceramic little pickle. But, um, you put it on and, and whoever finds it first wins a present.
Me: Where did you get your pickle ornament?
C: Um… I think mine right now is from The Christmas Mouse.
Me: What’s the prize for the winner?
C: Anything. Candy or money or something like that.
Background: C was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, where she resides today. Her family claims German heritage. The Christmas Mouse is a local holiday decor store.
Context: This story was told to me in-person by my grandmother, C.
Analysis: The Christmas Pickle has always been a big deal for my family. I grew up with two sisters, and we often got competitive in the days after Thanksgiving when the tree was being decorated. When we spend Christmas at my mom’s, there isn’t a prize for finding the pickle. I remember us having prizes when we were younger, but she stopped as we became teenagers. Now, finding the pickle is purely for bragging rights. When we go to my grandmother’s for the holiday, however, she still takes the hunt very seriously. The prize nowadays is often a gift card or mug- things that are more appealing to adults than candy and toys.