Christmas lunch is not complete without Christmas crackers.
Christmas crackers or bon-bons are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries, as well as in countries of the former Soviet Union (where it is called “хлопушка”). 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, joke or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper. Crackers are often pulled before or after Christmas dinners or at parties.
For my crackers, I made rolls from the cardboard found inside Christmas wrapping paper.
The “snaps” came from Lincraft for about $3 for a packet of 12.
I bought a very cheap set of crackers to pull out the hat and jokes. I added Santa chocolates to each hat and joke. If I’d had more time, I would have made hats.
I picked up this gorgeous paper from Michaels in the US. It was 40% off after Thanksgiving.
Always test your materials! One layer of brown paper worked, two layers did not.
I used a little sticky tape to hold the snaps inside the cracker.
Roll it up and fix with some double-sided tape.
Decorate the outside of the cracker in any way you please.
Finish off with some ribbon or thread, perhaps.
Voilà! Make enough for everyone and then a few extra, because you never know who might turn up at the last minute!