A Short History of the Christmas Pickle
The history of the Christmas Pickle is indeed a short one.
This summer, I’ve learned on some info radio that the Christmas Pickle is the hottest Xmas thing this year. Lover of kitsch that I am, I rubbed my hands and looked into this. Here are our very own new Weihnachtsgurken.
Obviously not mouth-blown glass or hand painted.
Apparently, the Christmas Pickle is a well-loved German tradition in America; while most of Germany has never heard of such a thing. The Christmas pickle is used as a decoration for trees together with all the other tinsel and bobbles and stuff. It resembles a … well … pickled cucumber and blends in well with the tree. The person who finds the pickle first gets an extra present. Olé!
Now, just when you wanted to think this is one of those commercial things from the US, my friend Wiki presents this very interesting picture. A factory named Lyra-Fahrrad-Werke from Prenzlau actually had a Christmas pickle in their catalog as early as 1909.
By the way, Prenzlau is situated in the Uckermark in the north of Brandenburg. Lyra from Prenzlau has nothing to do with Lyra from Nürnberg, Bavaria, a traditional factory that still produces pencils.
Lyra Fahrrad-Werke did not just specialize in bicycles. They produced all sorst of useful things like sewing machines, sports gear, toys and weapons. At least in 1909 they also featured a range of Christmas decorations. It is a fascinating thought that this knowledge would’ve been lost if not someone had bothered to scan this picture.
So, the Christmas Pickle might actually be a forgotten (regional) German tradition after all!
What are your special Christmas traditions?