Advent 9: Christmas Crackers

Specially illustrated stamps are printed each Christmas this one is of Father Christmas with a cracker. The cracker has an illustration of a Pantomime Dame

christmas-cracker-drummerIn Britain and Ireland we pull Christmas crackers at the dinner table which we have at lunch time on December 25th.

Victorian illustration of pulling a Christmas cracker
Victorian illustration of pulling a Christmas cracker

Crackers may have caught on in other countries too and I’d be interested to hear from your part of the world if they have.

When pulled it activates a firecracker that makes a loud ‘crack’.

Whoever gets the longest end, gets the prize. Prizes can vary from cheap plastic charms to gold tie-pins depending on how much you can afford.

Coloured paper crown can get quite wrinkly by the end of dinner © Southampton Old Lady
Coloured paper crowns can get quite wrinkly by the end of dinner © Southampton Old Lady

One is set at each dinner place. Each will contain a paper crown, which is compulsory to wear at the table and there will be a lot of cajoling to get a grumpy Grandad to wear his. There will also be a joke to read out – usually a pun on words that will be so corny it makes everyone sigh. It is essential that the joke is corny.

Here are some examples:

Q: What kind of sweet goes swinging through the jungle?  A: Tarzi-pan

QWhat do you call two robbers? A:  A pair of knickers

This then starts the reminiscing  old jokes and funny tales. Often there are enough crackers left to pull the next day “Boxing Day” which is also a holiday in Britain.

17 thoughts on “Advent 9: Christmas Crackers

  1. Our family has never done them here in Texas but I do see them in several stores and have been tempted to buy some just for fun. Not sure I could get my bunch to wear the crowns. Cheers for the holidays however you celebrate! Oh, we have tamales and chili on Christmas Eve and margaritas if it is warm.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi SOL,

    One Christmas, long ago (in the mid-60’s) my family from Britain spent a few days at Christmas with us here in Canada, and brought some crackers along with them.

    Being under the age of 10, I thought it was a smashingly good time having family over from Britain (and those (amazing to a child’s mind) crackers, but the loud popping sound made my younger sister cry. Poor thing, too close to nap time I guess.

    I was allowed to buy some the following Christmas (or two Christmas’s I can’t recall) but it seemed I was the only one in my immediate family who was interested, so it waned.

    Your post got me to recall a long-forgotten memory that I can now cherish. Thanks to you!

    Cheers, JBS

    Liked by 1 person

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