Why Does Michigan Love Hiding Pickles in a Christmas Tree?
Folks from Detroit, Flint and the rest of the state have likely visited Bronner's once in their lives.
Most are awestruck by the whole experience, but one thing always stands out... a random tree dedicated to pickles.
Christmas Pickle Ornament Tradition in Michigan
Legend has it, the first person to find the hidden pickle ornament, on Christmas morning, would receive another gift from Santa and/or would receive a year of good fortune.
Did the Christmas Pickle Ornament Originate in Michigan?
- One city in the state celebrates in a big way. According to Wikipedia, Berrien Springs, Michigan called itself the Christmas pickle capital of the world -- holding a Pickle Parade every year from 1992-2005.
- That parade started up again in 2021. The area is known for making pickles (like Imlay City, MI) and was originally settled by many German immigrants.
- That said, Michigan did not start the tradition.
How did the tradition of pickle Christmas ornaments begin?
Here are a handful of the most popular urban legends:
- A captured German American soldier was saved from starving to death when he asked a guard for a pickle on Christmas Eve during the Civil War.
- A German tradition immigrants brought to the United States
- This one is disturbing, St Nick supposedly resurrected or saved two boys put in a pickle barrel to die by some innkeeper.
- Parents possibly started it to slow down the opening of gifts. So, kids would be more appreciative.
- Martha Stewart even weighed in. She leans toward believing it was a manufactured marketing idea when German glass Christmas ornaments were first introduced to the United States in the 1800s.
Read More: Exactly How Much is Bronner's Light Bill?
Since the Internet didn't know, we asked the largest Christmas store in the world right here in Frankenmuth, MI, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.
Bronner's Communications Assistant, Lori Libka, reminded us of an interview she did with MLive and mentioned the Christmas pickle tradition was believed 'to have started in Germany, but many Germans say they've never heard of it.'
Christmas Tree Pickle Ornaments at Bronner's
Libka said they sell about 5,100 pickle ornaments every year. The most popular is the mini glass pickle ornament -- selling around 2,000 units annually.
No matter the origin, people are passionate about their pickles at Christmastime in Michigan and around the world.
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