Tom Smith Christmas Crackers

  • December 04, 2008
  • Jenna Maxwell
When I first heard of Tom Smith Christmas Crackers I thought they were some type of festive holiday appetizer.  I had no idea that they are actually a fun party favor that have been an important British tradition for years and is now becoming a booming tradition here in America.  The Christmas cracker was invented in 1847 by Tom Smith, a baker of wedding cakes from Clerkenwell, London.  On a trip to Paris in 1840 Smith discovered the "bon-bon", a sugared almond wrapped in a twist of paper.  Back in London, his new sweets became quite popular.  When he noticed that young men were buying them for their sweethearts he began to place love mottoes on small slips of paper inside the wrapping.  In 1846, standing at his fireplace, the crackle of a log gave him the flash of inspiration for the cracker.  After much experimentation, he got it right.  He pasted small strips of saltpetre to two strips of thin card.  As the cards were pulled away from each other, the friction created a crack and a spark (similar to that used in a cap gun).  A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper.  The cracker is pulled by two people, and much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly.  The split is accompanied by a small bang.  Inside the cracker is typically a small toy or other trinket and a motto, a joke or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper.  My family loves these Christmas Crackers!  The kids can't wait to pull them apart and see what type of goodies are inside.  At they have every possible type of Cracker you will need to start your own special tradition with your family this year.  From luxury and specialty crackers to traditional and juvenile (for the kids).  They even have "mini" sized crackers!  There's a Christmas Cracker for every occasion for your holiday season!