The Christmas Shoppe

Logo - The Christmas Shoppe

I know what you are wondering… What is the deal with pickles in this town? In case you hadn’t noticed, they are everywhere! On a typical trip to Boerne, TX, you will probably encounter this beloved condiment repeatedly.

First, poke your head into Carousel Antiques & Pickles to discover Fickle Pickles.  According to the Austin Chronicle, this sweet and spicy pickle chip is the “best in the world.”
You might, also, try out Soda Pops for a classic burger & fries lunch and notice their fried pickle spears on the menu.
While shopping, you would meander over to the Texas Gourmet Pantry, a tiny little shop nestled in a little area we call The Altstadt Mall to find they have pickled EVERYTHING! Garlic, green beans, asparagus, jalapenos, okra, and quail eggs!
For a snack, you may venture to Paul’s Gourmet Popcorn and discover over 50 flavors including… you guessed it, pickle flavored popcorn!
In the mood for a cold treat while enjoying River Road Park near Main Street? Sno Biz has the best shaved ice snow cones in town with a huge menu of flavors including… PICKLE!
I’ve even seen a motorcycle club come through with a pickle mascot on the back of their leather jackets! I may never discover what that was about.

Last, but definitely not least, you will definitely drop by The Christmas Shoppe, only to discover more jarred pickles, a pickle storybook, and multiple styles of pickle ornaments. So, I asked around at our shoppe to discover why the plethora o’ pickles. The short answer is that, for the town as a whole, pickles are just plain tasty and popular in the German and Mexican cultures. So, you may have a friend or family member who loves the taste of pickles so much that you need to create a whole gift basket of pickle related paraphernalia for their enjoyment. Yes, relish your loved ones with relish. (Hyuck! Hyuck!)
However, The Christmas Shoppe has, I kid you not, ELEVEN styles of pickle ornaments currently in stock (2017). They come in multiple sizes, made in Germany or not made in Germany, sliced or whole, and in outfits.

This is where The Famous German Pickle Tradition comes in to play. Apparently, when people first started decorating trees for Christmas, a wonderful game was invented. Back then, trees were typically decorated on Christmas Eve and hidden from the view of small children to be revealed as a great surprise. Some children would not get to see the tree until Christmas morning. One elderly elf here at the shoppe remembers having to wait until after Mass on Christmas Eve to see the family tree. Some would have a great revealing of the tree during a Christmas party, like the one in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. So, according to the tradition, parents hide the green pickle among the green tree boughs before the children come in the room. The first child to find the pickle ornament was supposedly blessed with intuition to be able to find a green ornament on a green tree. Some families would say the child had good luck in the next year or get to pass out the presents or get a special gift for being so observant. Over the years, the tradition was lost in some German families while it continued in others. This is why some Germans will tell you they never heard of the tradition before, while others will say they remember looking for the pickle when they were little.

So, the variations of holiday hide-and-go-seek continues. Another shoppe elf didn’t have any small children in her family but wanted to play. In her family, everyone who wants to play chips in $20 to a pot. Whoever finds the pickle gets the pot! If it’s not found in 20 minutes, the pot is held and added to the following year. One year the pot held over $400! So, whether you are hiding pickles on a tree, baby Jesus in a King Cake, an Elf on a Shelf, or matzah at Passover, know that when you visit Boerne, you are among treasure-hunting friends.

Hiding Matzah at Passover? That’s interesting story for another time…

One Response

  1. Love your article Emily!!! Great advertising for our sweet German town and PICKLES❤