Day 3: Traditions of the Season- Christmas Crackers.
Those are the glorious sounds of one of the best traditions of the holiday season in my opinion and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Enter the Christmas Cracker!
A classic holiday staple for more than a century, Christmas crackers are synonymous with the United Kingdom, and present a fun and relaxed atmosphere to any holiday celebration.
They are considered a festive table decoration and always contain a paper tissue crown, a corny joke or riddle, and a small toy. Nowadays, crackers can range from the inexpensive supermarket variety to luxury at its finest.
The introduction of the Christmas cracker originated in London, and were somewhat of a happy accident. Created by confectioner Thomas Smith in 1847, the idea for Christmas crackers emerged after his travels to France. One day he came across sugared almonds, or French Bon Bons, wrapped in colorful tissue paper and was instantly intrigued. He brought this idea back with him to England and the cracker was born! They initially contained Victorian mottos, which were mainly love verses. One such example is “The sweet crimson rose with its beautiful hue is not half so deep as my passion for you. As for that satisfying pop…well that is said to have come from the crackling sound of logs burning in a fire. To recreated this popping sound he experimented and eventually landed on small pieces of chemically engineered paper. This crucial snap would in turn not only make them more exciting but also increase sales.
So how do they work?
For starters, a cracker is comprised of a short tube of cardboard wrapped with brightly colored paper. The cracker, or popper, is held on each end by someone, and when pulled it creates a lovely pop! Once snapped open, only then do the crackers reveal their secrets and hidden treasures. One of the reasons why they are so great is that it’s a running theme for the jokes and small trinkets to be unfunny or somewhat unmemorable. However, you’re sure to have a good laugh taking part in this cherished English tradition!
Next time you’re out shopping and spot these festive decorations, I encourage you to pick some up and liven up your holiday season this year by indulging in this classic British tradition. With so many styles on the market, from classic and traditional to the ultra ritzy, you’re sure to find one that fits your style and budget. And hey if you’re feeling crafty, crackers are super easy to DIY and customize to your liking!
The demand for Christmas crackers has remained high throughout the years, and they have a steadfast hold right across the UK with the infectious holiday joy they bring. It sure would be hard for me to not imagine crackers adorning my table during the holiday season. I hope you’ll consider adding them to your holiday celebrations as you’re sure to love them as much as I do!
So don those silly ole paper hats, share your joke proudly, and let your inner child shine as you cherish your new toy!