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.
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.