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The Story of the Christmas Pickle

If you’ve visited our Christmas Shop this year, you’ve probably noticed our pickle tree, or at least, the abundance of pickle ornaments.  So why do we have so many (other than the fact that pickles are delicious, especially when made with your own homegrown cucumbers and, apparently, they look cute when wearing Santa hats)?  Because it’s tradition!  On Christmas Eve, someone hides the pickle ornament on the tree and then the first person to find it on Christmas morning gets an extra present!  Do this with your children, or extend the chance to find the pickle to all members of the family.

The history of the tradition is a little vague.  There are stories of a pickle saving someone’s life in one way or another, but most likely the tradition started as a marketing ploy by Woolworth’s to sell their new blown-glass ornaments in the late 1800s.  So, it’s neither Bavarian nor terribly old, but we still like it–who doesn’t like to get an extra present?

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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