I have so many great memories of the Holidays when my sister and I were kids- one main memory is our annual tradition of loading into the car on a frosty Christmas night and travelling over the hill to my Grandparents house for dinner- Grandma always had the most exotic of items on her table- black olives, smoked oysters, Coca Cola and Christmas Crackers. With the funny tissue hats, off kilter jokes and crummy toys- our Christmas Cracker tradition was one of the time of year we kids really saw the adults act silly. I vividly remember my Grandpa Henry sitting at the table in his western attire- once a cowboy always a cowboy (and he was the real deal- but that is a story for another day)- with a red crown tilted slightly askew and the relish dish at his elbow.
For several year it was really difficult to find Christmas Crackers- they virtually disappeared off store shelves. Then I think Martha did a project and everyone was back on board- the Christmas Cracker was fun and trendy again. Last year we took store bought crackers to Christmas dinner and I felt really let down- not only were they very expensive but the quality of goody inside was severely lacking. This year I was quite excited to see the snapper bit at our local craft store and they were very inexpensive and I thought to myself "self you can do this"!
What you will need:
Tissue paper about 6x10 pieces- 2 pieces for each cracker
a variety of toys and favours (the kids thought people might like pom poms)
"fortunes" or jokes- we wrote our own- they will delight people!
Toilet paper tubes
Get the kids practicing their letters by helping write out fortunes and jokes- The Boy can only really write his name so he signed each slip of paper. Stuff each tube with a slip of paper, a small favour and the snapper- with even ends sticking out on each side. Glue one side of the tissue to the tube and roll- secure down the end bit with a dab of glue.
Tie ends with ribbon or string- add a doily or decorative paper over the seam to hide the cut edge. Embellish your Christmas Crackers as you see fit- we used some sparkly letters that I have been hoarding away for a few years- making each one personal.
The favours we chose for the Christmas Crackers are an eclectic - a few, like the mini watercoulor boxes, we bought- but most are scavenged from around our house- cute little heart barrettes that I don't wear, a joke mustache and my favourite the tiny squirrel. So take a look at what you might already have and go from there. I can assure you that for only a few dollars you can make much better crackers than can be purchased anywhere!
I think it is not necessarily the quality of goodies inside that makes our version of the traditional Christmas Cracker better than a store bought one- I think the afternoon spent with my Littles thinking up funny things to write down- and there are some doosies I assure you- is where the magic lies. The giggles as we think about Aunty Heather is going to say about her fortune- planning who would like what favour. We are making new memories with an old tradition for our Littles- I can not control what from their childhood sticks in their memory into adulthood- but oh I can only hope they remember a bit of this day!