It sounds funny, but the Christmas pickle is a real tradition that dates back to the turn of the century. It doesn't involve an actual pickle, but a blown glass ornament in the shape of the crunchy treat that is hung on the Christmas tree. As the first to find the pickle on the tree, one receives a special gift or the promise of good fortune in the year to come.

You can purchase pickle ornaments from several sources to make the tradition your own. Or, for a veritable salad on the tree, look for other vegetable-shaped, blown glass ornaments. It is thought that the pickles originated around the turn of the century, at which time French imports of glass vegetable ornaments to the U.S. began.