Christmas memories: Find the pickle
Sometimes, all it takes is hearing "Silent Night" on the car radio or smelling balsam needles in a warm living room to trigger the memories of Christmas past. What brings memories back for you? We asked area residents for their favorites Christmas memories. All week, we'll run a story each day here on the website.
For Candice Olson, agricultural teacher at Badger High School in Lake Geneva, childhood Christmases meant homemade cookies and presents, of course, plenty of family, and one very special pickle:
"My favorite Christmas memory is mostly many of the recurring memories that we have as a family every year. We have a very close family but very busy schedule like many others so I cherish the time that we are able to spend together. Christmas in our family revolves around lots of presents, many being homemade from the children. Also early in the morning there was always a race to find the cherished pickle on the Christmas tree. (Editorial note: German and Polish traditions say the first person to spot the glass pickle ornament on the Christmas tree gets a special gift.)
"Some of my favorite childhood Christmas memories include being able to get finally eat all the cookies that we all spent so many hours together baking. They always tasted so good on Christmas since we all helped to make them.
"Now that I have grown older, it is fun to see the next generation of younger nieces and nephews now cherishing the same concept of empty gift boxes that I once did after the wrapping paper is gone and making Christmas cookies. It is still a rush to the tree for the pickle once we get to the house but now it is about helping the little ones to find it instead."