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Christmas Crackers

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Although the Christmas Cracker tradition started over 150 years ago in England and are very popular in the United Kingdom, they are still fairly unknown here in the States. Crackers can help celebrate just about any festive occasion when friends and family get together. Including weddings, birthdays and of course the Christmas dinner. The crackers (also known as bon-bons) are filled with cheap little trinkets, such as charms, candies, always a joke and the requisite paper hat. Commercial crackers always have some sort of device to make a pop when opened -- which even caused them to be banned during World War II.

Crackers can be easily handmade with a cardboard tube, some colored papers and a few little treasures to put inside. But don't forget the paper hat!

Tom Smith and the Christmas Cracker

(c)Peter Kimpton
Peter Kimpton tells us more about the Christmas cracker and the man behind the cracker in the article Tom Smith and the History of the Christmas Cracker in his articles here on the Collectibles website.

Kimpton talks about the lavish artwork and the many themes a Christmas cracker has had over the years. The boxes are gorgeously illustrated, and in at least one case, by an artist who later became well-known.

Kimpton has also written an illustrated book on the subject available on his web site The King of Crackers.

Christmas Cracker Images

© Peter Kimpton
They've been around for over 150 years and although they are very popular here in the US, they're very popular in the UK and Canada. The small paper tubes filled with treasures and a paper hat, makes a fun tradition to add to the family dining table.

Christmas Cracker Tins

Barb Crews
Tin collectors will love these unusual tins made in the shape of a Christmas Cracker. They are from Bentley's Confectionery in the U.K. and came with candies inside the cylinder.

Although they may not be the deal real, they're pretty fun to use as a "cracker" or add to the tin collection.

Although these are modern tins, they are reminiscent of the antique British biscuit tins so highly coveted by collectors today. But even modern British tins are popular among collectors, especially ones that are a little bit different -- such as the "disgruntled employee" Huntley & Palmer's tin.

Create Your Own Crackers

© Kate Pullen
Christmas Crackers from Around About
  • Our Rubber Stamping Guide suggests doing away with those cheap commercial made Crackers and make your own personalized crackers for every member of the family.
    How to Make Christmas Crackers (Bon Bons)
  • You probably never thought about sewing a set of crackers, but why not? Unfortunately if you're looking for candy, it won't be in these. The potpourri-filled crackers will make the house smell great.
    Sew a Set of Crackers
  • A cracker primer from our British Food Guide
    British Crackers
  • The Miniatures site on About shows how to make really cute crackers for your dollhouse or miniature collections.
    Make Miniature Crackers
  • Fill your handmade crackers with personal goodies -- something that they will really love to get and use.
    Beauty-Oriented Crackers
Also see:
Martha Stewart's Clown Christmas Cracker Design

Christmas Cracker Antique Prices

Barb Crews
Find out what these antique crackers sold for at the annual Golden Glow convention.

Buying Christmas Crackers

It all depends on what side of the ocean one is on when looking for Christmas Crackers. In the States, online shopping will offer the best selection.
  • Old English Crackers
    This store sells ready to use, filled crackers and supplies to create your own crackers. Even the little poppers to create the noise!
  • English Tea Store
    Loads of designs to choose.
  • Williams Sonoma
    Usually a few selections available.
  • Amazon
    Amazon usually is my go-to place when I can't find it elsewhere. They have loads of Christmas Crackers available.

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