Every Christmas season, Joshuas family decorates a Christmas tree with ornaments. On Christmas Eve, his mother hides a pickle ornament somewhere on the tree. Then, on Christmas morning, Joshua and his sister look for the pickle in the tree. The first person to find it receives a special gift, which is usually money, and supposedly a year of good luck.
Joshua says his family has been partaking in this tradition for as long as he can remember. He says that as children, he and his sister would get very into it and would wrestle to try to get to the pickle first. Ever since they each entered high school, the race has been less heated, with the two of them having a much more laid back attitude.
Joshua says he does not know the true meaning of this tradition, but knows that his mother did the same thing while she was a child. While he originally thought it came from Germany, he informed me that he read an article which stated that its origins are unknown, and this tradition is widely unknown in Germany.
My informant says this tradition is very important to him. Although it does not have a greater meaning behind it that he knows of, he says it is important to him because it helps give his family an identity with which they can pass on traditions to their ancestors.
Through research I conducted after the interview, I found out that in fact the origins are truly unknown for this tradition. Many in the past believed it came from Germany, but few people in Germany know about this tradition. I think it is important for families to have their own traditions they can pass down to their ancestors as it helps keep the family more together during the holiday season.
I found this tradition at: