Debunked: The “German” Christmas pickle

Thank you to Darlene from Bonjour: A Francophile Blog for asking me about the “German” Christmas pickle. It had prompted the following anecdote to hopefully finally debunk this lingering myth πŸ˜…


I first encountered the legend of the German Christmas pickle as a German exchange student in Florida when I was 16. My host family and I visited Disney World’s Epcot where they have a Bavarian village with a year-round Christmas store. We stumbled across a Christmas tree covered in glass ornaments in the shape of pickles which really confused me. There was a sign explaining that it’s a German Christmas tradition to hide a (Christmas) pickle in their tree. I was flabbergasted and went on a mini rant that I had never heard of this and that it was ridiculous. My host mother in turn found my reaction so amusing that she secretly bought pickle ornaments for herself and my family back home. And my parents have hung in up diligently every year ever since πŸ™ˆ

But I have asked every single German I know since then, across generations and across regions and NO ONE has ever heard of it. It seems like it is – similar to “Chinese” fortune cookies – an American invention that gets attributed to an unrelated country πŸ˜‚

Long story short, it is not a German thing,  but my host mom has made it a thing in my parents’ house πŸ˜…

How about you?
Are there any false traditions or myths attributed to your home country?

4 thoughts on “Debunked: The “German” Christmas pickle

Add yours

  1. Haha, oh the darndest things Americans claim “traditions” from other countries to be! It’s hilarious that you and your family ended up adopting this faux German Christmas tradition, though. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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