“Oh, dear. Ill-conceived love, I should warn you, is like a Christmas cracker: one massively disappointing bang, and the novelty soon wears off”

“Oh, dear. Ill-conceived love, I should warn you, is like a Christmas cracker: one massively disappointing bang, and the novelty soon wears off”

 

Blackadder

 

I was given a random but rather wonderful Christmas present yesterday, a bulk load of vintage Christmas crackers.

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I should say I have always been rather transfixed with Christmas crackers; I spend a good deal of time every year admiring them. I think my Nana was the same, I remember as a child she would always have one of those large table crackers, but we were never allowed to pull it, however after much pestering sometime she would careful open one end so we could have the treats from inside.

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These crackers where given to me by my uncle and were most likely originally owned by my Nana, my mother remember having the small crackers on the Christmas tree as a child.

 

They are a little newer than the first crackers, made in 1845-1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith, but many of them are made by the company he started which still sells crackers made in Britain today!

 

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My crackers date from the 1950s and 1960s, the crepe paper ones I’m guessing are a little earlier the foil ones could be later.

 

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I have no idea what to do with them, I suspect not many have survived so I defiantly wont be pulling them, Ideas on a postcard!

 

And what crackers did I have this year? Well as much as I do love a cracker I also love value for money, so this year I made my own AND the contents was a surprise, even to me! How? Well I filled my crackers with Kinder surprise, Lego mini figure packs and scratch cards, they are with out a doubt the best crackers I have ever pulled and still cost less then a fancy ready made box.

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Next year I may get the crepe paper and loo rolls out and try and recreate these vintage wonders!

 

Merry Christmas all!

About lholmes4keats

I have worked with Museums across the UK for the last ten years making costumes for exhibitions on everything from The Titanic to Tyrannosaurs. I have Run workshops and lectures on costume both nationally and internationally, my work has featured in exhibitions, films and theatre productions both nationally and internationally. In 2011 I curated The Needle is always at hand, an exhibition of dress based on Fanny Brawne's life while she lived at Keats House.
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