The Christmas Pickle Legend


Did you find a pickle ornament in a Christmas tree? Where you surprised to hear applause from loved ones after finding said pickle ornament in the Christmas tree? Good fortune! You’ve found the lucky Christmas pickle.


But what is the Christmas pickle?

Well, the Christmas pickle is a tradition that dates back to the late 1800’s. No one is 100% sure where it came from, but most believe it is an American tradition and most Americans think it came from Germany. The idea is to hide an ornament shaped like a pickle in the Christmas tree. Whoever finds the pickle either receives a reward for finding it or is believed to have a year’s good luck. Currently, Berrien Springs, Michigan, is known as the Christmas pickle capital of the world because they held an annual parade for it from 1992-2003.

There is a strong theory that the Christmas pickle was a marketing strategy meant to advertise the pickle shaped ornament that was imported from Germany. Americans purchased the pickle assuming it was a German tradition, when in reality Germans have no history of this tradition.


So how did the tradition last over a century?

Quality storytelling, that’s how. Old school marketing tactics may have been what drove the pickle all this way, but strong storytelling is what has kept the Christmas pickle alive. Here are some tips that can be taken from the Christmas pickle to create a great story around your product, service, and company, which will stand the test of time.


storytelling, like the Christmas pickle legend, is an art form to make it sticky for generations

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash


Provide a Back Story

If there’s anything to take from the Christmas pickle, it’s the importance of a back story. The legend of the Christmas pickle had the entire United States thinking this was a tradition from Germany! It takes a certain amount of flawless detail to make millions believe in a tradition that never existed. What is the history that makes the current product or service interesting? Finding this out will make any tale that much more enticing.


Make it Relatable

A majority of the United States had a Christmas tree, which made the ornaments a common household item or gift for the holidays. The story of the Christmas pickle was relatable and made a common household item entertaining and new. That is part of why this story was easy to sell and the Christmas pickle stayed alive. The fact that a marketing ploy turned into a decade long annual festival is impressive as it is!


is your story relatable like the Christmas pickle


Open it up to Interpretation

A great way to end a story is leaving it open to interpretation. This is where the creativity of the reader comes out. The story of the Christmas pickle was open-ended, allowing the consumer to decide what to do for whoever finds the pickle. This led to regional interpretation and generations of families who stuck to the same end of the story. It’s no wonder the legend stayed alive this long! One pickle ornament was passed down and many variations of the story were left open to interpretation.


Practice and Recitation

Practice makes perfect! Good storytelling comes from practicing telling the story and reciting it. This helps pick the important parts, improve delivery, and share with more people. The more times the story is told, the more people will hear it and so on and so forth.


practice and recitation helps perfect a great story

Photo by Peyman Naderi on Unsplash


So that’s the secret to the Christmas Pickle!

Great storytelling methods like these and more are what create century old legends like the Christmas pickle.

They are also what take your marketing copywriting and content creation to the next level, and we’re happy to help you craft a brilliant story for your brand, product, and/or service.


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