A very special tradition that began in Germany. Families would decorate their tree on Christmas Eve. For good luck, the last ornament to be hung was the pickle! A parent would hide the pickle in the green boughs of the tree. The first child to find the pickle would receive an extra gift left by Santa.
The tradition of hiding a pickle inside the Christmas tree comes from a medieval folktale. The story tells of two Spanish boys traveling home from boarding school for the holidays. They were tired from their travels so they stopped at an inn to spend the night. The innkeeper was a mean and evil man. He stole their possessions and then stuffed the boys into a pickle barrel.
That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the inn for a rest. He found out that the boys were inside the pickle barrel. St. Nicholas tapped the pickle barrel with his staff and the boys were magically restored. After thanking St. Nicholas for his help, they continued on home for Christmas.
Through time, this Victorian tradition has been celebrated by hiding a hand-blown glass pickle on the Christmas tree. Whoever finds it first on Christmas morning receives a special gift.