A tradition in my family is to put Christmas crackers on the dinner table. But lately, the challenge has been to find ones with gifts that will not be thrown away immediately after the dinner. It seems that even the upscale North-American stores gave up on producing worthwhile versions. I am sad about that fact. We inherited this tradition from Britain.
Therefore, I looked across the Atlantic to see if we can still find chic and wonderful Christmas crackers in UK. I found lots of options down there. Maybe next year, I would see if I can order online mine from UK. Let’s look at my favorites.
Cox and Cox
This UK catalog store continues to impress me. Their Christmas crackers concentrate on providing entertaining for your guests. Cox and Cox sells 3 models of Christmas crackers this year, including the Musical Crackers. Each handmade Gold Berry Cracker contains a chocolate and charade to be played as a party game.
Fortnum & Mason
Founded in 1707, this upscale retailer is the specialist of luxury Christmas crackers. At £100 for a pack of 6, their Classic Christmas Crackers package contains the traditional paper hat, an entertaining scroll, a satisfying snap and silver-plated gifts such as a coffee scoop, wine pourer, wine stopper, salt & pepper shakers, magnifier with chain and mirror compact.
It is not only for the rich and famous. You can find more affordable options at Fortnum & Mason, like the Saucer Crackers at £8.50 for a box of 6.
This a shop of the Prince’s Charities of which The Prince of Wales is President. Profits goes to the foundation. They sell individual luxury Christmas crackers presented in a nice gift box. Each luxury Christmas cracker contains 10 Organic Champagne Truffles, a joke, an inspiring comment and a traditional Christmas hat. For a party, opt for the 6-pack where each cracker contains a hand embroidered mini decoration, one Organic Champagne Truffle, a joke, an inspiring comment and a traditional Christmas hat. This is what I call a treat. Unfortunately, they will not ship outside the EU.
Fill Your Own Christmas Crackers
The most sensible idea is definitively the Fill your Own Crackers from Classic Crackers. They handmade the crackers for you. All you need to do is to buy gifts that fits in to the tube. They leave one end open for you to drop in your gifts. Close the end with the ribbon that comes with the Fill Your Own Christmas cracker.
Know that if you wish to make your own crackers from scratch, you need cracker snaps to get the bang. Classic Crackers sell them but at this time, they are out of stock.
A Montreal Maker
Jane Van der Voort, who set up the live chat that I gave yesterday on The Toronto Star, wrote an excellent article on Christmas crackers. From her, I discovered that Walpert Industries, here in Montreal has been making Christmas crackers since the 1960s. You will find the 2009 collection on Walpert’s Web site. But sadly, their site does not elaborate on what is inside their Christmas crackers and it fails to give us a list of retailers. At least, thanks to Jane’s article, I discovered that the Rudolph their Red-Nosed Reindeer Crackers (not shown) are available at Walmart.
+ Musical Crackers £12 for pack of 8 (no longer available)
+ Gold Berry Crackers £12 for pack of 6
+ Christmas Crackers at Fortnum & Mason £8.50 to £500
+ Luxury Silver Cracker by Highgrove on sale at £14.95
+ Luxury Christmas Crackers on sale at £39.95 for pack of 6
+ Fill Your Own Christmas Cracker £2 each
+ Walpert Industries