Hide the Pickle

This idea for a fun game comes from Deborah Skolnik, who was senior editor at Parenting and is currently editorial director of NYMetroParents.

When I married my husband, I was introduced to my new favorite game, Hide the Pickle. That sounds wrong.

Let me explain: My in-laws hang a pickle ornament on their Christmas tree each year, and whoever finds it gets a lovely coin.

The thinking is that a tiny green pickle in a big green tree is tough to spot. And it is—for amateurs. But I’m Jewish: I’ve spent my entire life staring at pickles. (I’m pretty sure I had a pickle crib mobile.) For a while, I was killing it. As the others squinted and scrutinized, I’d give the tree a quick once-over and locate the camouflaged Kirby—stat. Year after year, I’d get the coin, while my brothers- and sisters-in-law would politely hide their sour (or half-sour) feelings at my winning streak. Eventually I bowed out, feeling the fight wasn’t fair.

Now that we all have kids, we’re the spectators. It’s my daughters’ turn to try to out-pickle their cousins, and they usually don’t. Our family today is an even greater mix of beliefs and backgrounds, so in a sweet way, Hide the Pickle is a tribute to our nation’s great melting pot. Just fill mine with matzo ball soup.

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