Friday, December 10, 2010

For my money Robin Reed is TOP of the POPS!

In The Humble Bungalow Family and those who are in our circle of friends...
share a Christmas custom which harkens back to the old country....
Jolly Olde England.

We wear paper hats during Christmas dinner...they are garish shades of Eggy Yellow, Fire Engine Red, Royal Purple, and Hot Pink....which invariably clash with one's outfit!

There is a bit of a mad scramble to pull these crackers...all the food is on the table, we are ready and gathered, we turn to the person seated beside us, (it works best if we all turn to the same side or chaos ensues!)  take turns pulling the crackers. They POP and we swiftly unwrap and empty out the contents...hats are put on and we set the rest aside while we serve and pass turkey and vegs...we toast with some wine and bubbly and when dinner has been finished and those wanting seconds are sated, the table is cleared and we get down to the business of reading the jokes and riddles and showing off the prizes inside...
(laughter and groans follow...the jokes are usually bad)

Trading does occur...and sometimes the ante is high if there is a coveted item.
I have kept my mini screwdriver set from several years back, it has been a valuable tool pack for mini fixes when Mr. HB is not here...and the mini cards found their way into my handbag and were used on a long ferry ride.

If one is creative, has time and wants to shop for personal and individualized prizes
the makings for these are available at Michael's stores and most certainly there are some online sources.

I have yet to make my own Christmas Crackers
I feel that these folks have been making them for so long that they have mastered the art...
that's what I tell myself...
I do not want to entertain guilty or lazy thoughts!

Hostess Holiday Hint:
I double recipes and freeze them for times when life gets busy...
like now!
 I take the frozen dinner out of the freezer the night before and refrigerate
then all I need to do is heat it through and make a salad, set the table and I'm done.


  1. We always do crackers after grace just before eating at Christmas dinner. Then everyone has to wear their hat too!

    The prizes in these look way better than the plasic items we usually find in them. Must see if I can locate this brand in Toronto.

  2. I always enjoy the bad jokes that come in the crackers. I am a big fan of groaner jokes.

  3. Timely post Hostess for I'm pondering the crackers dilema once again. I'm over the cheap varieties and was considering making my own but am stumped about the gift inclusion. After reading this post I might check out the more expensive brands.
    My grown-up kids groan about the gaudy hats's family tradition and they must don the hat for at least 2 minutes or will not be fed!

  4. Northmoon- These must be availble somewhere in Toronto...happy hunting!

    LaBeletteRouge- You'd fit in well here then!
    BTW I got a newsletter from WW and they have a new points plan...
    looks good....not as good as your photo does for that Blog review though!

    Anne-Marie- We forget we even have them's all part of the fun!

  5. We have had Christmas crackers for as long as I can remember and if they weren't on the table everyone, particulary my grandchildren, would be very disapointed. Just another fun Christmas tradition.(-:

  6. The Christmas tradition yo write, is totally unknown to me. Our traditions here on Christmas Eve are, decorating the tree, probably going to the church and taking candles to to the graveyard. Naturally the Christmas sauna, the dinner, and afterwards waiting for the Santa Claus to visit and then opening the gifts. Those who wish, drink glög all day long and probably a cognac before going to bed. Christmas carols are sung, especially, if there are small children around.

  7. LaVieQuotidienne- That's wonderful...I didn't realize how extensively these crackers were used...thought it might have been the UK and Canada.

    metscan- Christmas Eve Mass has a certain enchantment and do the bright eyed children...your traditions sound lovely.

  8. Dear Hostess,
    those crackers sound good! Here I have to go to Evelyn&Crabtree to get some or order them at V&A museumshop - till now I didn't think of the Internet.
    In Germany we wear funny paperhats on New Years Eve (well, some people still do), pull crackers then and throw blow-outs at each other (some use confetti - that you will find in June still somewhere...) And everybody loves "melting lead" over a flame - on a spoon, than thrown into cold water - the bizzare forms tell your fortune for the new year. Christmas is somewhat contemplative - but now I will jazz it up!

  9. Britta- Molten lead is new to me...and that sounds like such a fun New Years...
    I plan to have a New Years Party so I'll need to get some blow outs, hats and other fun stuff to go with the bubbly! Thank you for putting that thought forward.

  10. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas, without crackers! Nowadays I buy mine at HomeSense. They're cheap as chips, and are nicer than many that I can recall.
    I checked the boxes,on the ones I purchased. One is made in China; Celebration brand; and the other is 'The Olde English Cracker Company, made in the UK.

    My Finnish husband hates wearing the paper hats; but nobody escapes it, in our family!

  11. I've never heard of this company - but boy oh boy, what an upgrade on the cracker! My freind makes them every year - I am always in awe of this. Good idea on the double dinner/freezer idea too.

  12. theduchessofH - According to mette, the Finnish do not have crackers...
    our Christmas traditions are a mix of many cultures.

    Missing Goat - Homemade crackers do sound appealing...I have seen some lovely ones at craft fairs.

  13. I make my own crackers too and enjoy finding little treats that I squirrel away all year, so each person has one made for him or her, with perfume samples, Japanese paper clips, magnets, etc,

    Toronto readers can find good crackers at The Papery in Yorkville.

  14. We love our Christmas crackers! The bad jokes are the most fun, and usually they have to be explained to someone! We always wear the hats, and when someone new is at the table they have to join in too. Linda

  15. Duchesse- Oh my your guests are very fortunate...maybe you'll post an image of these for us to see.

    Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) welcome! Happy to hear that you enjoy the same tradition...and the explanation of the jokes happens here too.

  16. Beautiful crackers are a lovely indulgence at Christmas. It's good you have a reliable source. Worst are the ones that look and are expensive and complete rubbish inside.

    I've been doing the freeze double and reheat thing at the moment too.

  17. I found some cracker kits - I am just filling them with chocolates and candies :O)

  18. Fiona- I have been fooled before by crackers and now I am very careful about the contents. It is so much better when the company puts pictures of the contents on the box :)

    Suburban Princess- Hooray! Maybe you'll let us have a peek at them on your blog.