Menu Plan for the Week – and a Pickle Tradition

pickle ornamentWho’s heard of the German pickle ornament tradition (which may or may not be true)? I won a pickle ornament at a white elephant gift exchange last year, so our boys decided that we definitely needed to make this a part of our Christmas fun. Who wouldn’t want to find a pickle hanging on the Christmas tree, after all?

The long and short of the tradition is this:  Christmas Eve night, parents hide the pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree. In the morning, the first child to discover it receives an extra gift. This explains why my kids were interested in this tradition, right? It’s all about a bonus gift.

All was well until Christmas Eve afternoon when it occurred to me that the boys were counting on us hiding the pickle, and I had forgotten all about providing an extra gift for the winner. Thinking quickly, I brainstormed for something that would make the winner feel special but that all the boys would enjoy (after all of their pickle searching efforts). I refused to go back out and buy something. I was done shopping, thank you very much.

Aha! I ran to the computer and created a certificate which entitled the finder of the pickle to pick all of the menu items for New Year’s Day. I made the certificate goofy (shocking) with a bunch of ridiculous disclaimers, printed it, and put it into a gift bag. There. Pickle present done.

Justus (13) was the winner. Here’s what he chose:

Wednesday, January 1
Whole wheat waffles (which the boys are now all calling “Super Mama Waffles” – I guess they are just that good?)
Tilapia, rice, steamed veggies
Spicy pasta (recipe from a friend), tossed salad

If you’re wondering what happened to Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in our menu plan…I didn’t come up with plans for those days because we’re with family and working together on food prep. :)

Thursday, January 2
Snickerdoodle muffins, apples
Beefy vegetable soup, fruit
Alfredo sauce with pasta, steamed veggies

Friday, January 3
Poptarts, applesauce
Creamy mac and cheese, peas
Calzones, tossed salad

Saturday, January 4
Honey whole wheat bagels, clementines
Rice and veggie stir fry with broccoli, carrots, and chicken
Beefy enchilada bake, tossed salad

Tell me if you’ve heard of the Christmas Pickle!

Homeschool Convention 450X150


  1. Rhonda says

    We have been hiding the Christmas Pickle on our tree for a few years. Such fun. I love your idea of the winner picking the New Years Menu!


  2. Margaret D says

    We hide the pickle but the ‘prize’ is a silly gift. It is usually something I have acquired during the year from odd sources. This year was a magnet that I received in the mail. The year before was a bookmark.


  3. Brighid says

    Definitely heard of the pickle tradition! This year we forgot to do it because we were recovering from the flu. Blech! Maybe I should hide the pickle before we take off all the ornaments and toss the tree in the woods. Since we usually do that on Three Kings Day, it might be nice to have a special gift to remember the kings’ gifts.


  4. says

    My family has done the pickle since I was a kid! (We lived in Germany briefly, so I’d thought it was legit until a couple years ago!) Our “prize” was to open the first present. Now that I have kids of my own, we have one for our own tree, but don’t do a prize (yet… they’re only 5 and 2 now). I always love to find other people who know the tradition!


  5. says

    I’ve seen it, and have even had one, but my dear boy, in one of his OCD this doesn’t belong Christopher Lowell interior design moments… killed it. I haven’t had the heart to replace it since. Justus chose a yummy menu!


  6. says

    We live in an area with a lot of German traditions. I used to work for an art gallery where we sold a lot of blown glass pickle ornaments. Love the tradition. Would be a lot of fun to do, if we ever put up our tree. Looks like a great menu! Part of my resolutions this year are to start doing menu plans. Thank you for the inspiration!


  7. Bobbie says

    We have, but when it turned into a race with the grandchildren almost knocking over the tree, we quit doing a prize. The prize used to be a Susan B Anthony dollar. They just each look for it during the week. LOL


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