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Blog - Christmas Pickle

The Lore of the Christmas Pickle and a Giveaway

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The Lore of the Christmas Pickle

How many of you reading this has taken part in this tradition? I haven’t yet but it sounds fun and there is plenty time to find a great pickle ornament to hide on the tree. Those who haven’t why not give it a try this year, the kids will love it!

What is the Christmas Pickle? The Christmas Pickle is a tradition in the US where a decoration or ornament, in the shape of a pickle, is hidden somewhere on the Christmas tree. The first one to find it on Christmas morning either gets a “prize”, like an extra gift or more traditionally, good fortune for the next year. Kids love the prizes more for some odd reason…. Go figure.


I do not think that the origin of the Christmas pickle has ever been solidly proven, but there are many stories of where the true origin of the tradition comes from. The most popular myth is that the legend of the Christmas Pickle came from Germany, but it seems to be completely foreign to Germans and most would look at you funny and ask “Pickle what?”Another claim as to the origin of the Christmas Pickle is related to Bavarian-born Private John C. Lower who was captured and placed in a prison camp in Georgia.The story says that on Christmas Eve a starving Lower begged a guard for food. The guard found and provided Lower with a pickle. After returning to his family, he began a tradition of hiding a pickle on their Christmas tree each year.Whether the story is true or just another made up back story for the tradition of the Christmas Pickle is still up for debate.

Ultimately, it seems to a tradition that originated here in the US which is no big surprise.We have some pretty weird traditions that rival those in other countries, but maybe we will revisit those in another post. There is still discussion of where it originated here in the states. I would have to say if you live in Berrien Springs, Michigan, you folks took the Christmas Pickle to whole new level. Berrien Springs was apparently known as the Christmas pickle capital of the world. According to Wikipedia (so take that with a grain of salt), they held an annual pickle parade led by none other than the Grand Dillmaster. I know you are thinking AWESOME! right, but sadly in 2003 they ended their 11 year parade tradition. I am not sure if they started the parade tradition again, but from what I could figure out they still have a Pickle Festival and let’s face it who really wants to sit on a curb to watch a pickle parade in December in Michigan, brrrrr.

So whether you live in the Christmas pickle capitol of the world or not, you can still start the Christmas Pickle tradition in your home this year!One “prize” idea could be a Tree In A Box grow your own Christmas tree kit, giving you a tree to hide your Christmas Pickle in for generations to come.


Tree In A Box is giving away five (5) grow your own Christmas Tree Kits.Winners may select their choice of our original red kit or our new white kit design.The contest will run until 11:59 PM on December 16th, Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond with the kit of their selection and an address to ship to. Prize can only be shipped to a US address

To enter please do both of the following in one comment: 

1. Post your family’s favorite Christmas tradition

2. visit our Christmas Tree In A Box page, and let us know which Christmas kit you would select if you won.

We will randomly pick 5 winners to receive a Christmas Tree In A Box kit.

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