You may or may not know about the Christmas tradition of hiding a pickle in your Christmas tree. I didn't until a few years ago when my sister enlightened me of this cherished, if not odd, winter custom. Many believe the Christmas Pickle to be of German origin while others say its roots are unknown, but this could not be further from the truth. You see, my friends, I have been on a quest - a quest for knowledge, much like Indiana Jones. I fear I cannot name my sources but gather 'round as I relate the greatest story ever told.
It all began many years ago on New Year's Eve. Friends were celebrating, the champagne was flowing, and hors d'oeuvres were being scarfed by the handful. The most popular treat of the time were gherkins.
Gherkin after gherkin was devoured until only one remained.
This last, lonely gherkin didn't get eaten that New Years Eve. In fact, he was completely forgotten about for days. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. The last gherkin was covered and obscured from view by lousy leftovers and forgotten fare. For almost a year, the last gherkin lived in his jar alone. It wasn't until the next Christmas that the jar of gherkins was sought out once more.
But something had happened. The last gherkin was a gherkin no more. He was a full blown pickle. And as soon as his jar was retrieved from the depths of the fridge and his lid was unscrewed, the pickle bolted!
Blinking in the bright light of day, the pickle immediately scoped out a place to hide. No one was going to eat him! Not after he had survived so long on his own in that lonely corner of the fridge. His only company was a grape that had escaped from its plastic bag. But the grape hadn't lasted long. He shriveled and wasted away into raisinhood within days. Pickle was a fighter. He quietly slinked about looking for somewhere to hide.
First he crouched as low as he could in a tea cup.
But he was too tall. Next he tried to hide in an oven mitt.
But he was too big and green. Then he ducked behind some salt and pepper shakers.
But he stuck out like a sore thumb.
There had to be somewhere in this place he could blend in. He needed something big and green.
Then he saw it.
The Christmas tree! Of course! He made a wild, mad dash for the tree and nestled himself deep among the inner needles. He had made it! He would not be eaten. He was a free pickle!
And so every year, we hide a pickle in the tree to honor all the gherkins who were never given the chance to become full blown pickles.
And so, dear readers, consider yourselves enlightened. You're welcome.
And crochet yourself your very own Christmas Pickle this year like the one I made, using the following free pickle pattern from Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches. Yes, it looks a bit like poo but if you add a face and a bow it will be okay. Just like it was for the Christmas Pickle.