Is That A Pickle On Your Tree?!?

Call me crazy (it is only two days after Thanksgiving).  Call me a hypocrite (the season of Advent doesn’t even start until tomorrow).  Or just call me desperate to suck in as much Christmas joy as is possible this season.  But the tree is decorated.  And this year’s ornament of distinction is, you guessed it, a pickle.

Christmas Pickle 2014 2

Pickle ornaments aren’t anything new.  They have been part of some families’ Christmas traditions since the late 1900s and may or may not have originated in Germany.  You can read more about their history here.  But it just seemed necessary that this pickled pastor’s first sober Christmas have a pickle on the tree.

I have no adult memories of a sober Christmas, so this year’s holiday is going to be a little different (to say the least).  No egg nog, no hot spiced wine, no Kahlúa in my morning coffee, and no—under any circumstances—merlot.  Merlot is not invited this year.  Her name was a necessary deletion from my guest list.

But I do believe my sobriety will make for a very special Christmas.  That is why I wanted to get the preliminaries out of the way early.  I intend to spend the entire month of December staying focused on all things joyful:  children’s laughter, dancing lights, and carols celebrating the birth of Jesus.  Yes, I want Jesus to be front and center this year.

Now that I am not responsible to coordinate and deliver a spectacular season of worship experiences, I anticipate actually having the time to prayerfully reflect on the significance of our Savior’s birth—especially as I continue trying to reconcile my vocation, my faith, and my alcoholism.

I am going to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every time it airs and let Linus preach to me.  “That’s what Christmas is all about, Pickled P.”  Indeed it is.  Christmas is about forgiveness, about hope and restored relationship.  Christmas is about the love of a God who still hasn’t given up on her people—even me.

Yes.  This Christmas is going to be different.  I am going to sing and laugh and pray like crazy.  And whenever I lose focus and forget all that Christmas is meant to be about, I have a pickle on the tree to remind me.  I am a servant of Christ who also happens to be a recovering alcoholic.   Each and every day is cause for celebration and gratitude.

Merry Christmas!


16 thoughts on “Is That A Pickle On Your Tree?!?

  1. That so awesome!! I wish that I could be a little more festive, but I really struggle during the holidays and I try not to remember my beatings and not live in fear. It a process but I’ll get though it with help from my higher power.


    1. The holidays are often particularly hard for those of us who survived beatings near or on them. Hang in there, it does get better. Even if it never goes away. You are not alone. Both God and fellow survivors are with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Chrismas, I love Pickles and I love your Blog!! I did not know that about pickles, I love learning something new… I think you are going to have a wonderful December. I really admire your positive attitude and your forward direction… God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea that pickles were connected with Christmas. It’s a lovely post with such a positive message. You summed up the real meaning of Christmas and what it’s all about. When I’m struggling I will try to remember your message and carry it through into my festive celebrations. I want to celebrate Christ’s birth and I don’t need alcohol to do that. Have a wonderful December. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have close to 30 yrs sobriety and also same in recovery for anorexia. So it can be done. God has given me a gift. The gift of sobriety. So mainly I just wanted to be supportive to you. How do you get to 28 yrs? One Day at a Time. Keep moving forward and don’t let go of Jesus’ hand…Glad you are blogging….Glad I found you. A God Thing to be sure…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, fingers crossed I find it on one of the channels this year. Love the foto of the tinsel, sparkle is such an uplift 😉 😉 looking forward to reading more on your blog and appreciating joy of the holidays too. Good call.


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