The 20 best Christmas Crackers for 2012
If you’re not already starting to feel just a wee bit festive, now’s the time to don a paper crown, blow a plastic whistle and read a bad Dad joke, because it’s time for Wee Birdy’s annual Christmas Cracker Awards!
Since 2007, every November I spend weeks scrutinizing hundreds of brightly wrapped specimens to make my final edit of the top 20 crackers. Here we go…
1. THE AWESOME DIY JEWELLERY CRACKERS
Tatty Devine Deluxe Christmas Crackers, (also pictured at top), £75 for a set of six from Tatty Devine.
Hand-crafted in England, each cracker features a different perspex shape as the decoration, and contains chains, jump rings and instructions to make the shape into an awesome necklace, along with a party hat and a joke. The collection includes jewellery-making pliers to share and jewellery boxes.
2. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LIBERTY PRINT CRACKERS
Liberty Superior crackers, £45 for a set of six from Liberty.
Made in the UK, each Liberty print cracker contains gifts such as a compact, compass and pen.
3. THE NEON CRACKERS
Great British Crackers, £45 for a set of six from Pedlars.
Hand-crafted in Wales, each cracker contains a motto, joke, paper hat and a cool gift.
4. THE TRADITIONALLY FESTIVE CRACKERS
Red Joy Crackers, £12.95 for a set of six from Emma Bridgewater.
Each cracker contains a hat, motto and a gift such as coloured pencils, mini make up brush set, mini sewing kit, mini stapler, mini nail clippers and mini tool kit.
5. THE DESIGNER SCENT CRACKERS
Maison Martin Margiela Christmas cracker gift set, £40 for a set of six from Selfridges.
Each cracker, wrapped in limited edition Maison Martin Margiela newsprint contains a 7ml bottle of Maison Martin Margiela’s Untitled fragrance, which includes notes of galbanum, lentiscus, orange blossom and incense.
6. THE POSH BRITISH CHOCOLATES CRACKER
Conran Christmas Crackers in Gold Glitter, £65 for a pack of six from The Conran Shop.
Each cracker contains a hat, motto and a Rococo chocolate truffle box.
7. THE STATIONERY-NERD CRACKERS
Present & Correct Christmas crackers, US$18 for one cracker from Present & Correct’s Etsy shop.
Handmade by “some nice ladies in Dorset”, each cracker contains a 2013 tag book calendar, a rubber stamp, a christmas pencil & vintage eraser, two metres of airmail string, an old paper clamp & a scrabble magnet, a lucky chocolate sixpence, some confetti and labels.
8. THE EXTREMELY POSH CRACKERS
The King of Crackers, £500 for a set of six from Fortnum & Mason.
Each cracker, covered in red velvet and decorated with ribbons, tassels and a glittering crown, contains a paper hat, joke and a luxurious high quality leather gift, such as a keyring, luggage tag, purse or credit card holder.
9. THE STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL CRACKERS
BPL Christmas Crackers, £40 for a set of six from Ben Pentreath Ltd.
“Lovingly handmade in Dorset”, each cracker is covered in Judd St Papers and contains a hat, snap, joke and a really lovely gift, such as a wooden nail brush, wooden dice, cookie cutter, marbles, strawberry seeds or a set of pencils. You can also choose from the Pollock’s Zeotrope Strips design; Pollock’s Pantomine Characters design; or the Margaret Calkin James design.
10. THE FINE TEA CRACKERS
Famous for Tea Christmas Crackers, £100 for a set of six from Fortnum and Mason.
Each cracker contains a silver-plated F&M caddy spoon and a tin of one of Fortnum’s classic loose-leaf teas, such as Earl Grey Classic or Queen Anne Blend.
11. THE DIY CRACKERS
In this charming tutorial, craft blogger Mini Eco shows you how to make your own graphically simple crackers. The beauty of DIY crackers is that you can fill them with your own choice of present, as well as a hand-made hat, which can be rather fun.
12. THE JUBILEE CRACKERS
London Superior Crackers, £45 for a set of six from Liberty.
Made in the UK, each cracker contains gifts such as a compass, pen and screwdriver set.
13. THE BELGIAN CHOCOLATE CRACKERS
Choc on Choc Chocolate Crackers, £15.95 for a set of six from Harvey Nichols.
Each cracker includes a paper hat, joke and filled with Belgian chocolate.
14. THE ‘YOU’D BE CRACKERS TO SPEND ALMOST 600 QUID ON CRACKERS’ CRACKERS
Harrods Romanov Luxury Christmas Crackers, £599 for a set of six from Harrods.
Each individually handcrafted cracker contains handmade bespoke crown, joke and trivia booklet and superb individually-wrapped gift. Gifts include a Stag corkscrew and bottle opener, crystal-encrusted Cloisonne box, Italian-made leather card case, Crown Monde earrings, leather USB and chrome pen and silk scarf and crystal scarf pin.
15. THE MUSICAL CRACKERS
Harrods Peppermint Cracker Collection, £39.95 for a set of nine from Harrods.
Each hand-crafted cracker contains a crown, joke, trivia booklet and a different xylophone key so that they can be played together as a kind of impromptu family orchestra. The collection includes a conductor’s baton and musical scores.
16. THE PAPER PLANE CRACKERS
Flights Of Festive Fancy Crackers, £8 for a set of six from John Lewis.
Each cracker contains a hat, snap and a make your own paper aeroplane game.
17. THE DESIGNER PARTY HAT CRACKER
Philip Treacy for Asprey Christmas Cracker, $2,000 for one from Asprey.
This limited edition cracker contains a party hat designed by Philip Treacy, confetti, joke and a collector’s sterling silver thimble engraved with Philip Treacy’s signature. One of the eighty crackers contains a winning ticket for a bespoke Philip Treacy hat.
18. THE ‘SAVE THE BIRDIES’ CRACKERS
RSPB Bird crackers, £12.99 from the RSPB.
Each red and gold bird-designed cracker contains an individually-wrapped organic Fairtrade Coco chocolate bird, a bird fact, a joke and a hat.
19. THE NUTCRACKER CRACKERS
Meri Meri Nutcracker Tale Crackers, £18.50 for a set of eight, from John Lewis.
Each cracker contains a musical whistle, a hat and a joke.
20. THE MAGIC CRACKERS
Magical crackers, £9.99 for a set of eight from the RSPB.
Each cracker contains a magic track, a joke and a hat.
So there you go, my Christmas Cracker round-up for 2012. Which one is your favourite?