Today many of you may have hidden a pickle on your Christmas tree, but do you know why? Theories conflict as to exactly the tradition began, but it is commonly attributed to Civil War soldier, John Lower who was captured and near death. He begged a prison guard for a single pickle before starving to death. The prison guard having compassion gave the soldier a single pickle. The soldier later regained his strength and will to live, which he attributed to eating the single pickle. Upon returning home Mr. Lower began hiding a pickle on his family's Christmas tree as a sign of good fortune and good luck to those who found it.
Have you ever been caught under the mistletoe and unsuspectingly been planted with a kiss? Kissing under the mistletoe has been traced back to an old Norse fable about the goddess of love and beauty, Frigga. She wanted to make the world a safe place for her son, Balder. Frigga made every living thing on Earth promise not to harm her son. Frigga mistakenly overlooked the mistletoe plant. Another Norse god, Loki took advantage of this oversight and tricked another god into killing Baldur with a spear made from mistletoe. Frigga's tears fell on the mistletoe and became the white berries which would revive her son. Showing her gratitude, Frigga promised to kiss anyone who passed under the mistletoe.
Upside Down Christmas Trees
While walking in to someone's house, have you been surprised to see an upside down Christmas tree? The upside down Christmas tree originated in Germany during the 7th century. St. Boniface traveling to Thurinfia, Germany used the triangular fir tree to represent the Holy Trinity which is made up God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As a result people started worshiping the Fir tree as God's Tree. Soon it became custom to hang the Fir trees upside down to symbolize the Holy Trinity.