It cannot be overstated how much we at Abraham Thinkin’ love Christmas. Truly, any superlative to describe a person’s enthusiasm is applicable to our Christmas Spirit, and it probably still falls short of effectively capturing the level of our Holiday Cheer. As we all know by now, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to sing loud for all to hear. Fortunately for you all, we cannot sing Christmas Carols to you through the computer, so instead, we are going to do what we think is the next best thing. Every day between now and Christmas Day, we will post something related to Christmas, including Christmas Traditions, Stories of Christmas Lore; some of Abe’s Christmas Faves, and much much more.
We love odd things. They make us laugh, shake our heads, scratch our chins, and wonder… how high and/or drunk were you when you came up with that?? In this case, I think someone was well in to their tenth cup of wassail or nog when they came up with this doozy. Ladies and gents, on the Fifth Day of Christmas, we present to you the Christmas Pickle…
For those of you who do not know (Which I assume includes almost everyone), Christmas Pickles are usually not actual pickles. The Christmas Pickle is the centerpiece of a tradition in which parents will hide a pickle-shaped ornament in the tree and the child who finds it will be rewarded with good luck in the coming year (Which I would be pissed about that being the prize for all that searching) or an extra gift from Santa Claus on Christmas (BOOM!). As weird as this tradition sounds, I am 100% behind anything that leads to more presents!!
Many people thought that it is a German tradition, especially given their love of sausage-shaped things and kraut. However, that has since been proven to be poppycock, and Christmas Historians (I WISH I could make a living of that) have agreed that it is a uniquely American tradition. The general point is that it gets the kids to appreciate all the decorations on the tree while they look for their gift-giving treasure.
No one knows where this tradition comes from, but there are some theories. Some say that it represents the story of an American WWII prisoner who begged a guard for a pickle before he died. The guard granted his wish, and it was enough to keep the soldier alive a little longer, and he ended up making it out of the War alive. Another, much more lurid, explans the pickle as an homage to old St. Nick. Back in the medieval days of St. Nicholas, two Spanish boys were traveling home and stopped at an inn for the night. The inn-keeper ended up killing the boys and sealed them away in a pickle barrel. St. Nicholas just happened to stay at the same inn that night, and he stumbled upon the pickle barrel and miraculously brought the boys back to life! Thanks to the pickle juice, and the fortune of only being in it for a short time, they were well preserved and didn’t even look like zombies. Yay Saint Nick!!
There are variations of this tradition throughout the world, most notably in Ukraine, where they hide a spider web ornament in the tree. Legend has it, there was a woman who was too poor to decorate her tree. She went to bed on Christmas Eve quite sad about this unfortunate fact. When she woke up the next morning, she found that a spider had covered her tree in spider webs, and contrary to what you might think, it was an absolutely beautiful, shimmering tree. Now, Ukrainians commonly include pretty silver webs in their Christmas trees and if you find the spider, you will be blessed with good luck the following year. Sadly,no presents though.