Christmas Pickle with "The Christmas Story" of "Hide The Pickle"

Christmas Pickle with the “Time-honored German Tradition” of “Hide The Pickle”

About 10 years ago, my family received a gift from a friend: a small book and three ornaments. The book described traditions from around the world involving ornaments at Christmas. Our family immediately fell in love with the story of the German families who hide a pickle in their tree and on Christmas morning the one who finds the pickle gets a special surprise from Santa.

What we quickly found out is “finding the pickle” is much more fun than any prize. Before we ever got to Christmas morning, the kids had played hide-and-seek with the pickle multiple times each day. And thus, our new tradition began.

My kids are now 13 and 16 and as we were trimming the tree this year, the talk quickly moved to stories of Christmas-pickles past. We have two main rules – the pickle must be hung in a tree inside the house (let me assure you that you need to make this rule) and, the second rule is mainly for emphasis: the pickle must be on a tree inside the house.

My great-great-grandfather was a violinist in the German emperor’s personal ensemble in the mid-1800’s, so I love connecting to my heritage. Problem is…according to most sources, the German people don’t have the tradition described by the story of “Hide the Pickle.”

The story and the pickle have been part of our tree ever since we received that book, that’s the crazy thing about traditions…once they start, who cares why or how: Just ask Grace and John Blaich about the family’s Good Housekeeping Christmas Tuna Casserole.

The pickle is currently hidden within the branches, the boys are searching…and it feels like Christmas.


Written by

After graduating from Mizzou with Computer and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade singing Christian Rock and being a labeled artist with Benson Music Group of Nashville. In 1995, he and several investors started the area's first Internet Service called and by 2000 the company was serviing Internet access in over 50 communities throughout Southeast Missouri as

  • Yep – was Audrey Blaichs annual masterpiece that nobody touched…R.I.P. (she passed 3/26/14 so I bet that tradition passes too…)

  • I grew up in Sainte Genevieve, the pickle ornament tradition is alive and well there.
    My dads family is from S St Louis, I have a pickle ornament that is almost 100 years old, I love this tradition!

  • I’m so sad I’m not there:(

  • Well come here then, E!!!

  • I am going to be in StL this week:)

  • We’re only 2 1/2 hours away….:)