Christmas Crackers.

Last night Kelly and I went out to her work Christmas dinner which was great fun.
In keeping with the spirit of the evening someone had thoughtfully augmented the table setting with a supply of Christmas crackers.

Christmas crackers  (also known as bon-bons) have been around since the early 1840’s. I always thought that they represented fire crackers, but turns out they were originally used as a gimmick to promote the sales of bon-bon sweets in London.
Initially the bon-bons had a small love note inside, but they were later increased in size to include trinkets.

The crackers ‘bang’ is supposed to represent the crackle & pops from a log fire.  It is produced by a friction activated reaction of silver fulminate on the cardboard strip running through the cracker.

Kelly prepares her frog for tinsel jumping glory!


Although you can purchase super expensive bon-bons with more substantial gifts inside, as Im sure you know, today Christmas crackers usually contain:

  • A tissue paper hat that is too big and slides down over your face.
  • A plastic toy, puzzle or other trinket.
  • A cheesy joke.

My cracker contained a small pink plastic… well, people seemed to think it was a prawn, but I was having none of that. It was a lobster.
I quickly swapped it for a wee spinning top, and then swapped that for a tiny plastic helicopter, complete with wobbly landing wheels and a tiny spinning rotor.
Yes, I am the Donald Trump of Christmas cracker deal making.

My pink and brown hat was indeed too big, but I wore it anyway because, Christmas. And if you don’t wear your bon-bon tissue hat you are taking yourself way too seriously, right?

And my joke:
Q. What do you get when you cross a fish and an elephant?
A. Swimming trunks!

Kelly and some one else both got small jumping frogs. There was an immediate eruption of a full contact, frog jumping tinsel competition.

Other crackers contained various essential items such as a green plastic shovel, a mini comb, a clip on moustache and a very annoying and way over-demonstrated whistle.

As the table was occupied by a scrum of (at this point… um, quite merry) nurses, these items inevitably led to comparing professional anecdotes relating to the retrieval of a sundry of trinkets (Christmas related and otherwise) from various body cavities.

A story for another time perhaps.





Ian Miller

One thought on “Christmas Crackers.

  1. There was great mirth when my husband’s green paper had and sweat on his brow combined to give him a green forid for the rest of the weekend.


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