The best Christmas crackers of 2022, from luxury crackers to traditional choices, M&S to Jo Malone

By | December 20, 2022


Who invented Christmas crackers?

A London confectioner called Tom Smith in the 1840s, according to the Victoria & Albert Museum – which has some of the earliest examples in its collection. He took the French idea of ​​bonbons wrapped in paper, which were popular at Christmas, and added two thin strips of paper with silver fulminate painted on one and an abrasive surface on the other. When pulled apart, the friction caused the silver fulminate to explode with a ‘crack’.

Rather than a joke, Smith included a love motto inside each cracker. It was his son Walter who added the novelty gifts and tissue paper crowns, which for decades were made by hand; by the 1890s the company employed 2,000 people.

How to make your own Christmas crackers

All you need is a kitchen roll tube, some decorative paper, some ribbon and a cracker snap (£2.30 for 24 on Amazon).

  1. Cut your kitchen roll into one long cylinder (for the body) and two short ones (for the handles)
  2. Where you have just cut, create zigzag ‘teeth’ along the edges. This will make the cracker easier to assemble
  3. Put your paper crown (£7.99 for 100 on Amazon), cracker jokes (from £1.49 on eBay) and gift into the long cylinder and thread the cracker snap through it
  4. Wrap all three parts of the kitchen roll tube in decorative paper, with the zigzag teeth touching and the cracker snap protruding at both ends. Sellotape the paper together. Use the ribbon to cinch it where the zigzag teeth are, to create the handles. Trim each end and you’re done
  5. Instead of using decorative paper, why not get the kids to decorate it themselves? Or write guests’ names and personalize the gifts inside to that person

Christmas shopping guides from The Telegraph

Getting ready for Christmas? You may want to read our guides to the best Christmas hampers, the best artificial Christmas trees, the best children’s toys, the best Christmas gifts, the best Christmas gifts for women and the best Christmas gifts for men.

We also have more specific gift guides this year. They include the best Secret Santa gifts, the best Christmas gifts for gardeners, the best Christmas food gifts, the best Christmas alcohol gifts and the best Christmas home gifts.

And, as Christmas dinner approaches, why not read our guides to the best Christmas table decorations and supermarket Christmas food delivery slots? There are plenty more ideas for Christmas dinner on Telegraph Food & Drink.

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