Christmas Countdown ... 6... Crackers
Christmas crackers or bons bons are traditionally English. In the 1840’s in London, Tom Smith, disappointed that his sweets based on the French sweet almonds wrapped in pretty paper were not selling very well, included a “snap” to make a sound when they were opened. Crackers were originally called ‘cosaques’ and were thought to be named after Cossacks whose reputation for riding horses and firing pistols in the air wildly.
Some of the early crackers had love poems inside them, but when Tom died, and his sons took over the business, poetry was replaced by jokes, a paper crown was added and little toys or charms were included as special gifts inside the crackers. There were even “themed” crackers, with special tokens added for bachelors, spinsters and even Suffragettes!
In our family, there is a tradition of making handmade crackers. This year, one of our grandsons has provided the jokes!