December 18th, 2020
Ever spotted a pickle-shaped ornament in a Christmas tree? Lucky you!
Our friends at Country Living has given us all the info on the history of this.. Pickle!
At first glance, a glass pickle suspended among the usual red and green baubles and silver and gold tinsel might seem a bit strange. But as Wide Open Country writes, it’s said to be a fortuitous sighting—and part of an Old World holiday tradition. There are a few variations, but the story goes that the first child to find the pickle Christmas ornament is to be awarded with the first present, an extra present, or the job of handing out the presents, as well as good fortune for the year.
While the quirky custom known as Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle, supposedly has its roots in Germany, apparently most Germans haven’t even heard of it. In fact, the New York Times reported that out of 2,057 Germans polled, YouGov determined 91% were unaware of the legend. The pickle ornament tradition is actually most popular in the Midwest, says the publication. Perhaps the large number of German immigrants in the region, including in Berrien Springs, Michigan, a German settlement and the self-proclaimed “Christmas Pickle Capital of the World,” has something to do with that. Berrien Springs even hosts an annual Christmas Pickle Festival.
But the origin of the salty snack as a Christmas tradition is a bit of a, well, pickle. No one really knows the truth. In one tale, a villainous innkeeper trapped two boys in a pickle barrel, and St. Nicholas himself set them free, according to Tampa Bay Magazine. Others say a Civil War soldier (and German immigrant) being held captive in Georgia begged for and was given a pickle, which ended up sustaining him. But a third theory suggests perhaps it was a mere marketing scheme. In the 1840s, German glassblowers made ornaments shaped like fruit and nuts, so pickles might have been a possibility, and by the 1880s, F. W. Woolworth Company (the American five-and-dime store) started importing them to sell, paired with the story.
Want to try the tradition with your own family? Make this one!
This pattern is worked in rounds from the bottom of the pickle.
- 1 Ball RedHeart Super Saver in Tea Leaf – I like Red Heart Super Saver Yarn for projects like these because they’re a great price, durable and come in LOADS of colors).
- Size 5.5 MM crochet hook
- Plastic eyes (optional)
- Polyfil for stuffing
- Tapestry Needle
4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm) 12 sc and 15 rows with a 5.5 mm (U.S I-9) crochet hook
RND: RoundCH = Chain
Slst: Slip stich
SC = Single crochet
DC = Double crochet
Modified Puff Stitch: Yarn over, pull loop through, *yarn over, pull loop through* repeat 2 more times (9 loops on hook), yarn over and pull yarn through all loops on hook
Ch 4 and join w slst to the first ch – loop formed
Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc (12)
Rnd 3: (2 SC in next st, SC in next sts) repeat around (18)
Rnd 4: Sc around (18)
Rnd 5: *Puff st, sc in next 5 st* repeat within ** around (18)
Rnd 6: Sc around (18)
Rnd 7: *sc in next 2 st, puff st, sc in next 3 sts* repeat within ** around (18)
Rnd 8: Sc around (18)
Rnd 9: *Puff st, sc in next 5 st* repeat within ** around (18)Rnd 10: Sc around (18)
Rnd 11: *sc in next 3 st, puff st, sc in next 2 sts* repeat within ** around (18)
Rnd 12: Sc around (18)
Rnd 13: *Puff st, sc in next 5 st* repeat within ** around (18)Rnd 14: Sc around (18)
Rnd 15: *sc in next 2 st, puff st, sc in next 3 sts* repeat within ** around (18)
Rnd 16: Sc around (18)Rnd 17: (SC2tog in next st, SC in next sts) repeat around (12)
If you’re using plastic eyes, now is the time to place them!
Stuff the pickle loosely with polyfil. You want it to be able to shape it into a curve so do not over stuff!
Rnd 18: sc2tog around (6). Bind off and sew up the last 6 sc.
This pattern is part of a 3 part Stocking Series! Check out the others below:
Looking for more holiday patterns… check these out!