My Grandma Weber first told me about the German holiday tradition of the pickle on a Christmas Tree. Grandma was actually Irish, so you can imagine the story she spun.
St. Nikolaus and his Servant Rupercht visited homes and hid a pickle inside the Christmas Tree. The first child to find it is granted good luck for a year and given a special gift. The problem with Grandma’s yarn is Germans limit St. Nick to goodies in boots on December 6. Presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve. Part of the traditional fun is searching for the Christmas Pickle.
Not many of my German colleagues are big pickle searchers. They claim it is more a German American tradition or in my case – a German-Irish tradition.
Germans did invent the Christmas tree, but there is debate whether St. Boniface or Martin Luther started the tradition. Having seen several German Christmas Trees, they are absolutely stunning with thick fir and lavish decorations. I could not help looking at them without imagining a pickle hidden somewhere.
This time of year it is important to believe. I never recall ever finding a pickle In Grandma’s tree. Perhaps Rudolph ate it.