I had never heard of this until today. 

I've known my co-host, Riley O'Neil, now for about 4 years. We've been pretty good friends for at least 3 of those. December 10, 2019, was the day that I found out that his family hangs a pickle on their Christmas tree.

The only time I had heard of a pickle being related to Christmas was from the movie Bad Santa.

GREAT movie BTW, but that's not what Riley was referring to.

According to the internet© this might actually be a thing with three possible origin stories, each one more unbelievable than the last.

  1. The Christmas Pickle was a very old German tradition and that the pickle was the last ornament hung on the Christmas tree and then the first child to find the pickle got an extra present.
  2. A fighter in the American Civil War was born in Bavaria (an area of what is now Germany). He was a prisoner, and starving, he begged a guard for one last pickle before he died. The guard took pity on him and gave a pickle to him. The pickle gave him the mental and physical strength to live on!
  3. The other story is linked to St. Nicholas. It's a medieval tale of two Spanish boys traveling home from a boarding school for the holidays. When they stopped at an inn for the night, the evil innkeeper, killed the boys and put them in a pickle barrel. That evening, St. Nicholas stopped at the same inn, and found the boys in the barrel and miraculously bought them back to life!

I mean we are talking about Christmas here and none of those are crazier than the thought of a fat bearded dude at the North Pole using flying reindeer to deliver toys to every (Christian) kid in the world, but I digress.

Riley says that his family did the first tradition of having the kids hunt for the pickle and whoever finds it first gets an extra present. Not sure if they still do it. I hope they do because the thought of 2 twenty-year-olds fighting for a pickle in a tree is pretty funny. I'll have to ask.

Anyone else out there putting a pickle in their tree?