Holiday Traditions – Little Surprises

Holiday Traditions – Little Surprises

A pickle in the tree? A walnut in the pumpkin pie? Try these small holiday surprises to make your kids smile!

I could be wrong, but I think my daughter’s favorite Christmas-present-opening tradition has its roots in Germany. (And someone, please do correct me if I’m wrong). A pickle ornament (or, since like ours, your ornament collection might be pickle-free, a paper pickle) is hidden in the Christmas tree. First one to find it right before opening gifts gets to open his or her gift first.

Rules: The pickle must be in plain sight, and no one can touch the tree. And the person who hid the pickle can’t play–this should be obvious, but the chance to open your gift before five siblings can bring out certain devious qualities in the sweetest of children.

My mom had a fun tradition that she did every Thanksgiving and Christmas. She made pumpkin pies and baked a walnut in each one. If you got the piece with the walnut in it, you got a prize. Usually, it was a box of cherry chocolates or some other seasonal treat.

My sister and I loved this tradition, and couldn’t wait to see if we got the piece with the walnut in it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like pumpkin pie, but that was beside the point. Also unfortunately, I never won, but figured one year had to be my lucky year.

When I grew up, I found out my mom knew where the walnut piece was, and rigged the game so that a visiting relative would win. Humph! Boy, was I mad when I found this out. All those years of choking down pumpkin pie and not even a chance of winning!

That said, I do recommend this tradition, because there’s nothing like a little dessert drama (but don’t rig the game).