a breakfast serial

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the pickled joke

Pickle ornament

Pickle ornament (Photo credit: Stephh922)

< by Nate >

Growing up, it just wasn’t Christmas without a little competition.

As children, this came in the form of a holiday gift from Santa Claus. Perhaps it was a book my sister, brother and I could “share,” or a movie that we could all “watch” together.

But most of the time, it was a game for the whole family to play. As we grew older, the games turned from Kerplunk and 13 Dead End Drive to the DVD game craze: Scene It? Friends, Disney and ESPN. And throughout all of these Carey family battles, more often than not, yours truly emerged the victor.

However, once we’d grown past simple board/DVD games, my mother had to improvise. So she introduced us to The Pickle. An “old German tradition,” the pickle is an ornament hid amongst the branches of the tree. The child who finds the pickle receives an extra present from St. Nick (another German tradition).

Since my sister and I no longer lived at home when the tradition was introduced, it was hidden before Christmas Day, for us to find that morning.

For four years in a row, I found the pickle. No one else even came close. I’d learned my mother’s tendencies, perfecting a pickle-finding strategy comparable to none.

Then, two years ago, upon finding the pickle, my mother snickered at me and said, “There are two more.”

She had hidden three pickles, ranging in size (large, normal and small). I steamed as my calculations were thrown out the window, resulting in my brother and sister finding the other two pickles.

There were a lot of great gifts given that day, but my siblings enjoyed the joke at my expense the most.

2 Comments»

  Larry Who wrote @

This could go viral. Great tradition.

  magnate88 wrote @

It really is a fun tradition. We may take it a little too seriously though …


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