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A Cracker Christmas

Crackers are an inevitable traditional part of Christmas Dinners here.

It was only since joining “blog land” that I realised that crackers are not known much beyond the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries!

For those who aren’t familiar with them – a cracker is usually at your place setting at the Christmas Dinner table, and traditionally you pull your cracker at the beginning of the meal with someone sitting nearby. There is a barely audible “bang”, and one side “wins” the prize if they end up with the larger part of the cracker.

The contents are usually

  • a paper hat (flimsy and falls apart, and inevitabley too small)
  • a small unwanted piece of plastic (a ring, a keyring etc)
  • a woeful joke! (I found some examples of cracker jokes HERE – but have have been warned – they are dire!)

Occasionally with superior crackers (more expensive) you get a higher quality gift, but rarely is it anything you would ever want.

These days you can get crackers with all the major kids TV characters – Disney characters, Ben 10, Barbie etc but I usually choose ones which will match my table centre on Christmas Day. As you can see we are going with a silver theme this year.

I believe it is now possible to buy crackers in most countries now, and was amused when a bloggy friend emailed me to say she had bought her first crackers, but wasn’t sure when they were supposed to pull them…..well, now you all know! You can thank me later 🙂 !

You can read a longer cracker post from a Christmas past here

So ….. over to you – do you have crackers?

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  1. We’re in the US, and I’ve been buying crackers for maybe 10 years, if that. I did not realize you were supposed to pull them with someone who is sitting near you. We always pull them by ourselves. We also do ours on Christmas Eve, because we are usually away on Christmas Day. You are right about the contents–rarely would anyone over 8 want the prize, but I do think the hat and joke are fun. One year I bought “concerto crackers,” which had whistles in them. Each whistle played a different note, and they came with simple sheet music. Once everyone opened the crackers, you could play carols around the table, with each person playing their note as the sheet music indicated. Since all 5 of my kids play instruments, it seemed apropos and it was kind of fun. Anyway, Merry Christmas, JanMary!

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