The first to find the pickle gets the extra present. It meant a full-out war between my brother and I growing up. I am naturally competitive and hated the thought of losing anything, but the motivation for that one extra present was enough to have me get up early on Christmas day and search the tree for the pickle. The present wasn't extravagant. But it meant winning. I can't recall when we stopped doing the pickle, but at some point, it faded and now it's just a fond memory. Recently, I found out the pickle is a German tradition. If you don't believe me, read about it here.
Family traditions are fun because they are so different. One of my favorite traditions as a kid was hunting to find the perfect Christmas tree. My entire family would drive to a tree farm, play hide-and-seek through the lines of pine tress, and spend hours finding the one. There were always turkeys at the tree farm (and I have no explanation as to why they were there- but we expected it year after year) and we would all practice talking to the turkeys. To this day, I can do a pretty fantastic (and embarrassing) impression of a turkey. I blame this tradition.
I wanted to share one more tradition I was told about this week. At work, we got paired up with colleagues for an end of the year meal and we had to share crazy things our families did at the holidays. He shared the coolest idea. His parents would cut a ring from the bottom of the tree every year. They would each write out all the amazing things or milestones that happened throughout the year, the date, and then hang them up around their home. He said they had been doing it for 50 years- 50 wooden rings filled with memories all over his parents house! It blew my mind. That is such a cool, quirky tradition.
Do you have any crazy, sentimental, or fantastic traditions? Please share. Christmas is my favorite time of year.