An American ad for a “German tree trimming tradition” – the glass pickle ornament. Photo © H. Flippo
Today’s fat Sunday newspaper brought me a reminder about an article I first wrote back in 2003 about the so-called German tradition known as the glass pickle Christmas tree ornament, aka die Weihnachtsgurke. Today my wife pointed out an ad (see above) for “glass pickle ornaments” in one of the numerous Christmastime ad inserts. The ad makes it sound like every German household knows about this “German tree trimming tradition.” But in many years of asking Germans about this Christmas tradition, not one has ever heard of it. In the five years since the article I originally wrote for my old About.com site, it has become even more obvious that this “German tradition” is actually something invented to sell Christmas ornaments.
The irony is that in the years since I first tried to debunk this myth, READ MORE »