Thursday, 3 January 2008

Christmas crackers not as tasty as they sound

The first time I heard of Christmas crackers, I thought it was some type of holiday treat. If cookies are called biscuits here, perhaps a cracker is some type of cake? Nope. I discovered long before Dec. 25 that a Christmas cracker was a gift-wrapped tube that you pull apart. I only recently found out that it also pops (one might say it cracks) when you pull it apart. We bought some for our Christmas guests, who were all Americans and one from Japan -- not a native Brit in the bunch. Two of our guests brought Christmas crackers, too, as they were serving the dual role of host and guest -- they invited us for dinner, but needed our kitchen facilities. So we were both the guest and host in our own home. Dinner was made for us and we didn't have to leave the house, which is pretty much my idea of heaven.

But back to the crackers. Fortunately, my husband knew how to get off to a cracking good start (haha). He told us how to use the crackers. I thought everyone got his own and pulled it apart, but it turns out you do the wishbone thing, with two people each pulling an end. Whoever gets the bigger end gets the prize inside. I learned on Wikipedia just now that you can also just each get a cracker, and you get to keep yours no matter who gets the bigger end.

And it would be a shame not to get a prize. Not because it's worth anything -- it's mostly the kind of stuff you'd get from a nickel bubblegum machine in the States. No, the fun is in getting a prize, even if it's crappy. You also get a little paper hat, which I'd seen people wear in British movies but had never figured out what they were for. I still don't know what they're for, but that's neither here nor there, as they are sort of fun to wear and see your guests wearing.

The prizes can be better, depending on how expensive the crackers are. But you still can't expect much. The ones my hubby bought were $20 and the "main" gifts inside were things like nail clippers or a cheap pen. Each also included a paper crown and a slip of paper with the kind of joke that 5-year-olds would tell. Which made them sort of sweet I suppose, and fun to groan at.

The crackers were a success. We think they should be marketed across the pond as party favors in the U.S. They of course would cost much less (what doesn't in the U.S.?), and we envision people putting them out at birthday parties or creating special ones for businesses, say, to give out at grand openings with magnets and keychains bearing the company logo inside. Maybe we'll market it ourselves and become the cracker kings of America. It could happen.

1 comment:

  1. I would've loved to have something like a 'Christmas Cracker' for my three-year-old's birthday party! Maybe you really should try marketing them here in the states.


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