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Did you know?
Christmas crackers were ﬁrst made around 1845 - 1850 by a sweet maker in London (England) called Tom Smith. He had seen the French ‘bonbon’ sweets (almonds wrapped in pretty paper) on a visit to Paris in 1840. He came back to London and tried selling sweets like that in England. Tom also included a small motto or riddle in with the sweet. But they didn’t sell very well.
“Legend says that one night, while he was sitting in front of his log ﬁre, he became very interested by the sparks and cracks coming from the ﬁre. Suddenly, he thought what a fun idea it would be if his sweets and toys could be opened with a crack when their fancy wrappers were pulled in half.”
His future crackers included a ‘bang,’ and he was in business! When Tom died, his three sons, Tom, Walter, and Henry, took over his expanding cracker business. Walter introduced hats into crackers and traveled around the world looking for new ideas for gifts to put in the crackers.
“The Christmas Crackers that are used today are short cardboard tubes wrapped in colorful paper. There is normally a Cracker next to each plate on the Christmas dinner table.
When the crackers are pulled - with a bang! - a colorful party hat, a toy or gift, and a festive joke fall out! The party hats look like crowns, and it is thought that they symbolize the crowns that the Wise Men might have worn.”
For a different kind of Christmas cracker, please click here.