Have you ever heard the story of the Christmas pickle? I hadn't until recently, and now I'm inspired to make it a part of my family's holiday tradition. I also love pickles.

First off, get your mind out of the gutter. The origin of this story reportedly dates back more than 140 years to a Utica, New York, chain of retail stores. F.W. Woolworth's stores began spreading throughout New York and Pennsylvania in the late-1880s. They specialized in stocking a few basic household necessities and apparently made and sold Christmas ornaments.

According to history, these stores received ornament-making supplies shipped from Germany, and many of these early decorations resembled pickles. The weird tradition of stashing a green ornament (or pickle-shaped decoration) then shortly followed, in which the first child to locate it on the tree Christmas morning got to open a gift first.

YouTube is full of videos posted by Christmas fans narrating their own versions of the story. Some credit Germany with getting this strange practice started, which I guess isn't entirely false. Not a single person I asked this week about this most unusual holiday symbol knew what I was talking about.

Christmas pickle ornaments are sold by numerous retailers online and cost anywhere between $7 and $17. I couldn't manage to have one delivered in time for Christmas Day this Saturday, but you can bet I'll place my pickle on the tree next year.

Merry Christmas Twin Falls, and pickles up!

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