At the Children’s Christmas market in Nürnberg the other day, I tried to save American’s dwindling reputation. Fortified by two Glühwein mit Schuß (shot of run), I couldn’t help but interrupt the group next to me when I heard this:
Dude nearby: (in German) “…and she was telling me that Americans believe that Germans decorate their Christmas trees with pickles! Real sour pickles. How strange is that?”
Group: (nodding at the strangeness and shrugging at the wonder of it.)
Well, that just couldn’t end there. I usually do not break into conversations I’m not a part of and the only other time I’ve done that over here was when I heard an Italian guy insist that all Americans check their pasta doneness by throwing a few on the wall.
Having spread my own misinformation about Christmas in the past, I felt the need to nip this one on the bud by immediately leaning into their circle and telling them that, sorry, Americans are a bit naive about the world and are inclined to believe or be ignorant of the oddest things (“is there freedom in Germany?“) but there’s no way that we believe that Germans – the inventors of quality seasonal decoration, and models of hygiene and order- would actually hang a real pickle on their Christmas tree.