A History of Victorian Christmas Crackers

A History of Victorian Christmas Crackers

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This helps support what we do and in no way costs you a thing.

Christmas is that time of year when you experience so much joy, happiness, and satisfaction. You get to meet up with friends, family, and loved ones and share the most exciting stuff of times gone and times to come. We exchange gifts and prepare our favorite dishes, and so much more. Then, to top it all off, we enjoy some of the things we were super excited about as kids, such as Victorian Christmas crackers. Christmas crackers are a fun part of the festive season and are also a significant decorative element for the table, under the Christmas tree, or any other side areas you are decorating. But what are Christmas crackers?

A History of the Christmas Cracker

Christmas crackers are unique items for Christmas that make a popping sound when opened and usually contain a gift and a joke. It is a popular item used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and most commonwealth countries like Australia, South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand. These crackers are built with mid-sized cardboard tubes, wrapped in decorative papers (mostly bright colors), and have a grand prize inside. You can easily pass it for an oversized wrapped candy.

How Does a Christmas Cracker Work?

Colorful papers cover the tubes, and two persons would hold both ends of the wrapper and pull it apart. Once it opens, it comes with a loud pop, and one person would get the prize. But for the sound, many do wonder what causes it. The sound is triggered by a shock-sensitive card strip which is chemically impregnated and produces friction when pulled apart. Sure, it is safe, but many persons tend to be a little nervous because of the frightening sound.

History of the Crackers

Account has the Victorian Christmas crackers dating back to as early as 1847 with inventor Tom Smith. His inspiration for developing these treats came as an addition for his line of bon-bon sweets, which he first started selling in twisted wrappers. However, as time went by, the price of the bon-bons dropped, causing a significant decline in sales. This factor led to Smith improving the way he was doing his promotion, so he, in turn, started adding love notes to the wrappers, which later gave it a considerable boost. The sweets now had a similar setup, like fortune cookies.

As Smith went on, he added a new feature to the sweet treat, which came with a “cracking” sound. This Smith derived from the sound of logs he had put in his fireplace during the cold weather. Smith then realized for this to materialize, he had to expand the size of the wrapper, which he initially did. Also, he dropped the sweets that were a part of the wrapper and started adding more valuable items such as jewelry, gift card notes, and more. This new improvement sat well with those who were looking for something new, and they loved the idea. However, the name had to change over time as other market competitors were on the rise.

New Developments of the Christmas Cracker

As the years went by, and many people found the new items interesting, there were still more developments that drew more people on board. Smith’s son, Walter, further added new designs that included paper hats, the improved gifts, and more that helped to differentiate it from other rival cracker manufacturers on the market. In 1953, Smith joined with Caley Crackers, which to date, has done more for the festive season, especially for those looking for non-traditional presents. His home country has honored Smith and his family with a memorial water fountain that sits in the center of Finsbury Square, London.

Victorian Christmas Crackers :A Tradition for the Christmas Season

These crackers are perfect for the holiday celebration, pulled out at the dinner table, at parties, or as the family gathers in the living room to chill. It is perfect for gifting to friends, family, or even that special one dear to your heart. Here’s a little spice to make it even more fascinating…wanna propose to your girl this Christmas? Let her pull the cracker and keep the gift inside! Like for the hats, they are traditionally worn at the Christmas celebration with dates as far back as the Roman Saturnalia celebrations.

Are Christmas Crackers Safe For The Environment?

Everyone is becoming self-conscious and environmentally savvy, so the more friendly materials used, the better. So, for Christmas crackers, it is safe to use as they are handmade in England with original materials. Also, they are printed with vegetable-based inks with recycled or sustainable paper and are plastic-free. The crackers themselves, too, are recyclable and can be used for art and craft or other activities, especially for kids. With a rich history of over 150 years, the creators have always ensured what they do, positively serve the environment. Everyone at the table can use a little personalized gift, and these Christmas crackers will help you achieve that.

Can Christmas Crackers Be Carried On A Plane?

Well, it all depends on where you are going and with which airline. So, to answer that question…maybe! In the UK (even though this is where Christmas crackers first came into existence), select airlines do not allow travelers to carry while others allow carrying only in hands-on luggage. However, when traveling to the US, you may be barred from carrying as the crackers generally fall under the “explosive or flammable chemical” category. Some airlines allow you to take up to two sealed packages of the cracker, but you have to make authorities know you have it on board. Why the restriction on such a harmless Christmas gift…no one knows!

But, the next time you plan to spend Christmas in the UK with friends and family, you have to get a few Christmas crackers to issue and bring cheers and laughter to those you love the most. 

Other posts you may enjoy:

Tags :