Monday, December 17, 2007

Die Weihnachtsgurke

A few weeks ago
I bought a glass pickle ornament at the Ludwigsburg Christmas market. There was a sign written in English that told the legend of the German Christmas Pickle.
Every year the Christmas pickle is hidden deep in the branches of the tree on Christmas Eve.
The most observant child to find the pickle on Christmas morning would get to open their presents first or receive a special present from St.Nicholas.
I couldn't wait to get our tree and hang my "Traditional German Pickle". I loved knowing about this and participating in this tradition.
Since I am still attending classes at the University of Google, I was able to research more about it's origin. My research left me feeling a little cheated,
just like the time I saved all my allowance to buy a packet of Sea Monkeys when I was 6 years old.
The fact that the legend was written in English should have been my first clue.
There are a few more things wrong with the story.
First, the Germans open their presents on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas morning. Secondly, St. Nicholas arrives on Dec.6th and the third and most important flaw in the legend is that the Germans have never heard of it.
In 1800 F.W. Woolworth made a trip to Germany where he fell in love with the glass blown ornaments. He began importing them to the States to sell in his stores.
Production of the glass pickle began in 1890 and it is believed to have been sent directly to the U.S. along with it's "German tradition".
You should have seen the look on my neighbor's face when I showed her my " Traditional German Pickle" hanging in my Christmas tree.
The Christmas tree that is put up 2 weeks too early, I might add.


Anonymous said...

University of Google...that's excellent. Love that.

Anonymous said...

you are not the only American with a traditional German pickle hidden in their Christmas tree...what's worse I sent it to all my siblings for Christmas along with the story....kd

JafaBrit's Art said...

LOL, what a great story, and now I know. I have seen and heard about it but didn't know the real dill.