Why should we keep the tradition of Christmas crackers alive? Holidays are those times of the year we reflect on important things, such as family, friends, charity and giving. Being thankful for what one has and mindful of those who haven’t as much. Traditions are what make holidays special, even if the tradition is a family one.
Christmas crackers are a treat looked forward to all year. The party hat, sweetie, toy and riddle or joke make the day cheery and fun. Chocolate is a traditional sweetie, and the “crack” of the popper makes the cracker special. That sound is like a racer’s starting gun for children. They know Christmas dinner has begun, and afterwards, they get to open presents (if they haven’t already done so.)
For businesses and workplaces, Christmas crackers are special. The company buys them and the employees enjoy opening them with their luncheon or meal. Laughter erupts from even the most gruff person as the jokes are read. To watch a room full of adults play with the toys is always fun. The employees return to work with happy attitudes, increased productivity which helps the company.
Crackers are served at formal dinners, clubs and in some restaurants. These, of course are more expensive, with more sweets, chocolate and toys, but they still have party hats, riddles and jokes. From royalty to commoner, they are part of the British Christmas culture.
Crackers began in the 1840’s when wedding cake baker, Tom Smith saw bon-bon’s in Paris wrapped in twisted paper. He returned and invented the cracker shape to resemble logs on the fire. He filled them with treats and the “pop strip” to sound like a log cracking in the flames. In 1847, he founded the first and oldest running cracker factory in England. They still produce them today. Crackers are sold in many countries, including the United States.
In the modern age where many traditions have given way to unexplainable nonsense, keeping some traditions alive is worthwhile. Christmas traditions, even family ones, should be considered sacred and kept alive. Traditions define different generations and whole societies. Crackers are a tradition of fun, enjoyment and giving that let people know the season isn’t all somber and serious. I suspect even Father Christmas enjoys opening a cracker on Christmas Day with Mrs. Claus and the elves. Crackers range from a few pence to several pounds, so they’re available for every budget.
*Thank you for reading this guest post about Christmas Crackers!