Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, the Baublz family shared memories of hanging baubles on the Christmas tree. We hope you enJOYed seeing all the different ornaments. This week, Cracklz is being featured in celebration of Christmas crackers. So, let’s make your holidays pop with Cracklz!
I was first introduced to Christmas crackers when I moved to California many years ago. My friends had invited me to spend Christmas day with them and the table was beautifully decorated with Christmas crackers at each place setting. These crackers have nothing to do with the crisp wafers you eat with cheese!
They consist of a wrapped and decorated cardboard cylinder and resemble a large candy twist. You engage in a tug-of-war with another person to pull the cracker open, and it makes a fun, popping (cracking) sound. Whoever is holding the side still attached to the inner chamber gets all the goodies inside, typically consisting of a corny joke, a small trinket, and a brightly-colored paper crown.
I enjoyed crackin’ them open and wearing my crown during the entire meal. I was inspired to draw Cracklz to honor all my memories of this activity. Although primarily used at Christmas, crackers are also a great way to celebrate other special occasions all throughout the year. I now buy crackers to “crack” open on New Year’s Eve.
Continue reading to learn more about Christmas crackers, watch a short video about how to make them, and indulge in some cheesy cracker jokes …
History of Christmas Crackers
Poppers, or crackers, are traditional British party favors dating back to the Victorian Era. In the mid-1840s, a London pastry chef named Tom Smith got the idea for crackers from the French holiday custom of wrapping sugared almonds and other sweets in a twist of colored paper. Smith developed an early version of the cracker with romantic messages inside (called “Kiss Mottos”), however it wasn’t until Smith developed a cracker that “popped” when it was pulled apart that the cracker became popular.
Here’s a video about the history of Christmas crackers:
What’s Inside the Crackers?
Here are all the things you’ll find inside after crackin’ them open:
Paper Crown: These hats, primarily made of tissue paper, inspire lots of laughter. Once the crackers have been pulled, each person at the table must put on his/her brightly-colored crown. And, though they might not even fit on your head, you still need to wear them to join in on the fun!
Small toy/gift: This could be anything from a plastic comb, to a miniature deck of playing cards, to costume jewelry, to a yo-yo, dice, a plastic whistle, or even a small Christmas ornament.
Bad joke: These jokes are always corny and cheesy, but that makes them all the more hilarious! Here are a few to make you laugh:
How much did Santa’s sleigh cost? Nothing – it was on the house!
What is the best Christmas present in the world? A broken drum, you just can’t beat it!
What do you call an elf who sings? A “wrapper”.
Why are Christmas trees so bad at sewing? They always drop their needles!
I’m so excited to crack open these “JOY” crackers on New Year’s Eve that I just bought. I can’t wait to see all the surprises inside.
Do It Yourself Christmas Crackers
It’s a creative crafts activity to make your own Christmas crackers. Here’s a short video showing the steps:
Here’s a cute animated cracker video
Here’s your joy-full activity for the week
Be like Cracklz and celebrate the New Year with a pop! Why not buy or make some holiday crackers?
Cracklz and I would love to hear about how you celebrated New Year’s Eve! Please leave your comments and joy-full responses below.
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