Day 20 -Christmas Crackers

It dawned on me yesterday, while competing for the christmas goodies in Marks & Spencers and remembering I already had some crackers, that I have not seen ANY crackers mentioned on blogs, in digi-kits, or even in digital Lay-outs.

I assumed therefore that these are a purely British tradition, but a Wikipedia Search revealed that they are also found in Commonwealth countries.

Christmas cracker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christmas crackers, also known as bon-bons in Australia, are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries. A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun).

In one version of the tradition the person with the larger portion of cracker empties the contents from the tube and keeps them. In another each person will have their own cracker and will keep its contents regardless of whose end they were in. Typically these contents are a coloured paper hat or crown; a small toy or other trinket and a motto, a joke or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper. Crackers are often pulled after Christmas dinner or at parties.

Assembled crackers are typically sold in boxes of three to twelve. These typically have different designs usually with red, green and gold colours. Making crackers from scratch using the tubes from used toilet rolls and tissue paper is a common commonwealth activity for children.

It is a running joke that all the jokes and mottos in crackers are unfunny and unmemorable, along with being the same as those which have been used for many years past, resulting in most people either knowing or predicting the answers. Similarly, in most standard commercial products, the “gift” is equally awful, although wealthier individuals – notably, the British Royal Family – may use custom crackers with more expensive rewards.[citation needed] And some people will make their own (typically from kits) and add inexpensive but personalised gifts.

So obviously for today’s Christmas Photo, it has to be some of our crackers.

The red one you can just about see was made by Sarah at Girls Brigade, the rest being Winnie the Pooh (whose integral part in the Christmas Story has also been overlooked in my opinion!) and a stray and orphaned gold one, from a Christmas past.

So for the Christmas Survey

Do you have Christmas Crackers at your Christmas Dinner?

In our house – Yes, and it is almost guaranteed that the “gifts” inside will be the most inappropriate for the recipient (earings for my Dad, and mini-screwdriver set for my 8 year old, and a tyre guage for my 3 year old). There is usually a bit of bartering going on, and swaps made until all are happy(ish). This year, being Winni the Pooh themed, the gifts (according to the side of the box) will include a keyring, a notebook, and a fridge magnet. Perhaps there will be less swapping this year!

The other guarantee is that we will all look ridiculous in our party hats, and the jokes will be woeful. All part of the whole Christmas experience.

So please share if you use or ever have used Christmas crackers.

Come back tomorrow, and who knows what I will think of to share next…

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  1. I guess I haven’t heard of Christmas crackers. Thanks for sharing that information. I have learned something today.

  2. No Christmas Crackers here either : ( But it’s always so fun to know what is a tradition in other people’s homes : )

    BTW, I left you a gift : )

  3. WE live in canada and christmas crackers are in every store, but then it is part of the commonwealth. BUT we made Christmas crackers all theb eyars living in Florida, maybe b/c my parents had traveled alot?
    thanks for all the christmas posts i love them!

  4. I live in Mich. we don’t have crackers here but I have seen them before at parties.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

  5. I am in England so most definitely we have christmas crackers. I read in the paper yesterday that the jokes are so bad as they ‘pull the family together’ in groaning at their awfulness.

    I lived in the USA for a few years, and we never had crackers over there.

  6. My aunt spent several years over in England and brought the crackers back to the states. So I have heard of them, just don’t use them every year. I think it’s a terriric tradition though.

  7. Yes, we have crackers every Xmas day at our house. I don’t know when or how I first heard of them (it wasn’t a family tradition growing up)…maybe at the English rest. we eat at for Xmas Eve dinner….if you order the full meal, you get a cup of wassail and a cracker, along with choice of dessert – avg. price $40 for salmon. Anyway, they way over-charge us for dinner, but it’s worth every penny because the atmosphere and English carolers are wonderful (and I’m sure they’re not really English). Will try to upload photos tomorrow. I also buy crackers every year to give to all the children-guests who come for Xmas Day dinner (try to get them on Boxing Day – that’s my sale day shopping day). The kids look forward to them every year (the oldest is 17-5/8! and the youngest are 6)…they all put their hats on tonight, and got a shoehorn, hippo key chain, glittery mini notepad, and can’t remember what else. But nice ones! This is a fun blog!

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