We truly loved learning about all of your holiday traditions: everything from France’s Christmas logs made of ice cream, to New Zealand’s very own native Christmas tree, Pohutukawa, to water-skiing Santas in Washington D.C. (We have to confess we were a little bit scared of Newfoundland’s mummers; they reminded us of the scary people in The Strangers.) But our winning holiday tradition (and inspiration for our latest sale) is the Holiday Pickle! A lot of you wrote in about this particular custom, but the first one to write in (and the winner of a $50 gift certificate) is Megan, who had this to say of her own pickle tradition: “Well a tradition within my own family is that my parents take an Old World Christmas ornament, in the shape and design of a pickle, and hide it in one of the five trees we have in our house. The first to find it gets to open one gift early on Christmas Eve.”
Photo courtesy of elvissa’s flickr
Keep reading to learn more about the pickle ornament tradition and our” Holiday Pickle Sale” going on this weekend!
Many of you wrote in about this tradition, but everyone seemed to have a different reward for finding the pickle, from getting a special surprise for yourself to a gift that’s meant to be shared with the whole family. And it seems the origin of this tradition is up for interpretation too. Many people believe that this is a German tradition, but not many people in Germany have never even heard of the Christmas pickle! One theory is that this legend actually began in the American south with a Bavarian immigrant named John Lower. According to the legend, John was captured and imprisoned while fighting in the Civil War. Due to the terrible prison conditions, he soon became sick and he begged for just one thing before he died–a pickle. This pickle gave him “the mental and physical strength to go on” and after he was reunited with his family, he started hiding a pickle in the Christmas tree. He said that whoever found it would be blessed with good fortune for the coming year.
But then, there is the Berrien Springs, Michigan crowd, and their version of the pickle story. Berrien Springs calls itself “The Christmas Pickle Capital of the World” and each year in early December, they have an Annual Christmas Pickle Festival. The Grand Dillmeister leads a parade through the town, handing out fresh pickles to onlookers, and attendees can also purchase glass pickle ornaments at the town’s museum.
But “The Christmas Pickle Capital of the World” has quite a different take on how this custom got its start. They believe that it originated from a medieval story in which two Spanish boys were traveling home from boarding school for the holidays. They stopped at an inn for the night, where they were held captive by an evil innkeeper and kept in a giant pickle barrel. Luckily, St. Nicholas stopped by the inn, tapped on the barrel with his staff, and set them free.
No matter how you believe this tradition began, there seems to be a consensus that the pickle is a lucky little vegetable. And this weekend at ModCloth, the pickle is good fortune for you too! Our Holiday Pickle Sale features 50% off select items and runs tonight through Sunday, December 14th at midnight. Also, four lucky customers who order between now and the end of the sale will find a pickle in their order worth $25 at ModCloth.com!
We hope everybody has a dill-lightful weekend!