Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas Countdown, Traditions and Trivia Day Fifteen

Hello Friends!

Over half way now, and here is today's Advent calendar picture and scripture ~~~


I thought today I'd tell you about the history of Christmas Crackers.

When I was a child, these fun novelites were pulled at every Christmas meal and we sat around the table wearing the obigatory paper hat and reading silly jokes and mottoes that came from the crackers.  In those days in the middle of the 20th century crackers were not particularly expensive things, containing cheap paper hats and a silly, cheap novelty gift.  Over the years, however, even every day Christmas crackers have taken on a more designer quality with more elaborate gifts from a few luxury chocolates, miniature bottles of alcohol, travel sizes of toiletries, to jewellery and silk scarves. Making your own crackers and customising the contents to match your table decor and your guests preferences is also popular.

So how did the Christmas cracker come into being?  They were invented by an English gentleman named Tom Smith who had worked from an early age in a bakery and confectioner's shop in London. In 1840 he travelled to Paris, France where he came across the "bon bon" ~ small almond confections wrapped in tissue paper. From this simple beginning, the Christmas cracker evolved and developed into the elaborate and decorated novelty we know today.

If you would like to read more about the fascinating development and history of this tradtional novelty, you can do so here tracing the changes from Victorian love mottoes to corny jokes and riddles, and how the familiar 'snap' was developed, and connections to the Ministry of Defence.  There is even a rather sad tale of a gentleman who wrote to the factory in 1927 enclosing a diamond ring, a 10/- {ten shilling} note and a request for a special cracker to surprise his {future} fiance. Sadly, the gentleman overlooked to include his return address and the ring and money are still in the company's safe!

Tom Smith is still a leading name in the world of Christmas crackers and the company he founded is still run by family members, and is in posession of many Royal Warrants, including one granted in 1964 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and this is still held today.


The Yuletide Lad who arrives tonight is called Spoon Licker, or Þvörusleikir. He will be here until the 28th December.  Spoon Licker is extremely thin and malnourished and will try to steal dirty Þvörur, a type of wooden ladle, and lick any food found on them.

Until next time ~~~
~~~Deborah xoxo


  1. Wow, Grayden and I enjoyed your post very much this morning. It's interesting how capitalism has taken over the Christmas Cracker! I'll check out your link to learn more. You would think the poor fellow who sent in the ring and money would have informed the company by now.....
    The Yuletide Lads are breaking my heart. I see some very valuable lessons in these tales.
    Have a wonderful day, my friend! xoxo ♥

    1. I'm so happy you and Grayden both enjoyed my post today. I'm glad you are enjoying following along!
      I shouldn't worry too much about the Yuletide Lads, remember that they started out as trolls and were quite happy to eat the naughty boys and girls! Maybe that's why Þvörusleikir is so thin now!
      ~~~Deb xoxo

  2. What an interesting post! My heart goes out to the fellow who forgot to include his return address. How many simple mistakes like this have altered people's lives, I wonder.

    The Lads are very "Trolly" indeed.



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