Pickles and Madness - an enduring Christmas tradition

I'm Cuban.
I grew up celebrating Noche Buena.

On December 24th we would rise early to decorate the house and put up the Christmas tree while the pig slowly cooked in its garlicky goodness all day long until we kids were driven mad from hunger and completely ravenous by the traditionally late dinner hour, but that's not important right now.

But I'm also American.
I have gradually learned over the years how other families celebrate Christmas Day and have picked up some traditions that we have made our own.

One of those traditions is the hiding and finding of The Pickle Ornament.

Here's the drill:

1) After all the gifts have been opened, the parents hide a pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree. (I swear they exist. Who knew?)
2) Whichever child finds the hidden pickle then receives an extra gift.

My friend, Pam was the one who got me started with this tradition. She sent me a pickle ornament a few years ago and so began A Darby Family Holiday Tradition.

Except for now that they're all older, my kids are all too smart (and a little sneaky) and they can spot the darn pickle from miles away.

So, this year, knowing they'd be looking for the pickle, I fooled them.  I hung a little pearl instead. (See it dangling there on the top of this ornament and yes, I know the picture is blurry - that's because I still don't have my real camera back from Olympus. *sigh* So I'll just have to deal, but that's not important right now either.)

Pearl on ornament
So they hunted....
And hunted....
And Jonathan was right there....
Pickle 2

But Adam is the most competitive and snatched the victory right out of Jon's grasp.  (Of course, Amy Kikita was not at all upset....)
Pickle 4

The point of this tradition? (Aside from the extra gift thing...)

I figure it's an updated way to continue the Cuban tradition of driving the kids mad on Christmas. 

Does that make me a bad person?   ;-)