If you are lucky enough to be enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner this year then you will certainly be expecting to pull a cracker, a Christmas Cracker that is. These colourful accessories on the family table are enjoyed by everyone and no Christmas will ever be the same without one. A beautiful metallic wrapped cardboard tube that compliments this traditional meal, but why do we pull one, where have they come from and what’s the meaning behind this?
It is believed that the Christmas cracker was invented by Tom Smith of London around 1847. Tom had created the cracker as a follow on from Bon Bons. The bon bon sweet was sold in a twist of paper which was the origins of the traditional sweet wrapper.
Who enjoys the pulling of a cracker?
Contents do vary but they usually consist of a coloured paper hat, a small toy, a small plastic model or other trinket and a motto, a joke, and a riddle or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper. The paper hats which resemble a royal crown, are usually worn when eating Christmas dinner. The tradition of wearing festive hats is believed to date back to Roman times and the Saturnalia celebrations, which also involved decorative headgear.
There is something special about that hat, you feel like royalty when you are wearing your crown. Unfortunately, they only come in one size! This particular size is often known to be oversized and allows the hat to keep falling down your face. It can certainly make for hilarious photo shots. In this case, one size does not fit all!
Whatever your budget, there is a cracker to suit. You can choose from budget ones with a very simple plastic treat or the more luxurious type with Silver Pens and Nail Clippers to name a few. At my house we purchase a very large cracker which allows my family of 5 to all share the contents on Christmas Eve. These crackers are pulled with team work. Inside these ones you will have something for everyone and are meant to entertain the whole family with one big snap.
Kids love to hear that snap or bang of the cracker and to find out which delight is inside. Me personally, I just love that distinctive smell of gun powder. If you are the proud owner of dogs, at this point they have usually run off for cover as they have no idea what is going on and generally fear the sound of multiple cracker’s being pulled apart by two people or a large crowd.
Remember that the winner of the content’s goes to the one with the larger part of the cracker still left in their hands, so pull hard and no cheating, only one hand is allowed and the other must remain behind your back at all times.
Hope you pull a good one. Get snap happy.