Monday, December 17, 2007

That Pickle

Some ornaments get great positioning on our tree. Some, are hung toward the back - since that is where the "really strong branches" are. And then there is that pickle. The pickle, although a favorite, gets poor billing, inside the branches hidden by other ornaments, garland, lights and branches.

When I was living in Chicago, the city puts on a "Kris Kindlemart" in front of one of the Picasso sculptures. Good German vendors come with their wooden toys, glass blown vases and bowls, homemade sausage, potato pancakes and beer. The aroma is mesmerizing, even in the frigid temperatures. There are a couple vendors selling glass ornaments and this is where I found my pickle.

That pickle story I know goes a little like this: It is a German tradition to hide a glass pickle on the tree on Christmas Eve. The first child (my husband included) to find the pickle first, gets a special gift (I never have had an extra gift, maybe that's why my tradition isn't widely anticipated). After researching the pickle story for this blog, I found out that this is not a German tradition. In fact, most German people don't even know what the pickle ornament represents. There is a story of a man fighting in the Civil War. He begged for a pickle and regained mental and physical strength after eating it. And yet another story about some guys stuffed in a pickle barrel. The best note I read was from a woman, in Chicago, that asked the vendor at the Kris Kindlemart what the tradition was behind the pickle. The vendor said, "I have no idea, but Americans buy it."

Americans will buy anything.

There hangs That Pickle. My pseudo-tradition from my German ancestors.

It is, however, one of my favorite ornaments. Second to my absolute favorite, which gets high billing, in front, on top.

I beg you to find a better ornament.
Lustig Christfest!


Jill said...

I love your pig ornament! I have an amazing ornament that a friend of mine sent me last year when she was living in Peru. It's this beautifully painted dancing lady in a gorgeous flowy dress, all made out of a dried up pepper. I've got a picture of her around here somewhere... I'll have to dig it up. I like your blog, Mrs. Guz!

Carrie G said...

Pepper? Sounds really cool. I would love to see a pic sometime. I love Christmas ornaments and Christmas stuff. We can enjoy for a month or so and pack it away for 11 months, only to unwrap again like a new gift.
Maybe I should do that with other things, too...hmmm
Thanks for reading!