Monday, December 28, 2009

O Is for Ornament ("The Christmas Pickle")

(My Christmas Eve service featured"The Holidays A to Z," encompassing in 26 vignettes the breadth of the  Season.)

Ornaments  festooning the Christmas Tree are among the most beloved of  Holiday traditions.  Ornaments represent  all sorts of things that fill our lives and offer meaning.  Or they are simply colorful, shimmering baubles that delight the eye. They rest in the green branches of a symbolic Tree of Life—the Christmas Tree.

One of my favorite ornaments is known as “the Christmas pickle”  The legend of the pickle ornament maintains it’s an old German custom.  According to the legend, it is the last ornament placed on the tree, well hidden in the midst of other ornaments, lights,and tinsel.  Children are challenged to be the first to find it, the winner earning a special gift.  However, Christmas pickle debunkers (Yes Virginia, there are Christmas pickle debunkers) claim it’s a bogus legend.  They wonder, could it be a scheme of German ornament makers to sell more ornaments?  

Like many of the Christmas legends, there are those who believe and those who don’t believe the legend of the Christmas pickle ornament. In this regard the "Christmas pickle" legend represents many of the Holiday legends that rise from a twilight of truth and over time become tradition.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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