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.
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. 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…