If there’s one thing that grace tables up and down the country and whom Christmas Dinner would not be complete without and that’s a paper hat from a well thought out purchase of a box of Christmas Crackers.
Usually this is the one purchase of the festivities that I spend quite a lot of time on (apart from presents of course). I cannot stand crackers that just have a little plastic trinket in them (you tend to only get these when the crackers are purchased in bulk and given out at parties or corporate events, and you may even have had one if you’ve eaten your Christmas Lunch at an eatery or pub since they get as many as they can for the cheapest price so aren’t really that concerned with the gift) but if I am not making them myself including proper little gifts in them, then I want the person who normally ends up with the gifts at the end of the evening to find them practical and interesting and take them away rather than just throw the contents in the nearest bin or deposit them on the motorway on their way home. This year I’ve found a couple of total beauties and just had to share them with you incase you wanted to get some for yourself so let’s take a look at my choice for Christmas 2014.
Foodie Crackers – £35.00
You will know that Andy (my OH) is a massive foodie. He spends around 80% of his time in the kitchen creating something amazing for dinner or concocting new and exciting recipes to share with the weight watching community of friends I have made whilst on my quest to lose immense amounts of weight over the next few years, so these Foodie Crackers are perfect for anyone who is cooking mad! 6 beautifully manufactured crackers featuring some of the most luxurious Italian peacock feather paper that I’ve ever seen as a crafter. I would say the card used is at least 250gsm so pretty sturdy (unlike cheaper crackers, they won’t get flattened if you accidentally lay anything on them). Tied up with silky corresponding ribbon they look very expensive. I love it when crackers look every inch the part, and so special that you don’t want to use them. That to me just proves how fabulous they are if you don’t want to ruin them but if you don’t then you won’t get the best part out of them… the gifts.
You can’t fail to notice that whatever you get out of these Foodie Crackers is going to be of the finest quality and so I was excited to get them out of their packaging and see just what we had.
The crackers are quite large so you get a nice palm full to pull to break the snap which you need to do forcefully but does result in a lovely, loud pop (best to keep away from nervous animals though). But the best bit was shaking out the gift onto the table which I did after grabbing the bit that Andy won which makes me question why it is that he always seems to get the largest end – is there something that I don’t know about crackers that makes it easy to win? First out was a really cute heart shaped biscuit cutter (comes in really handy for cooking or indeed crafting with polymer clay) so that went into my corner. I also salvaged the card from the cracker for card making (see, I’m also quite a frugal crafter too). The paper hat was pretty decent too – gold coloured and large enough to fit my huge head so would pretty much fit anyone. As for the motto – it was a larger sized piece of paper with not only a joke on, but a motto too. You don’t get that very often so ideal for those who can’t tell jokes to save their life (me) but who can always recite a good motto at a convenient moment (just keep them in the memory bank to sound knowledgeable when you have the opportunity to). After pulling a few more we had a lovely little collection of really useful kitchen pieces – the biscuit cutter, salt spoon, regular spoon, mini whisk, wine bottle stopper and finally a honey dipper. A super little set of items from thoroughly beautiful crackers.
Next up – one for the crafters I think…
Origami Crackers – £24.99
They don’t look like your regular Christmas Crackers in fact these Origami Crackers could practically be used any time of year, as there wasn’t a direct indication that they were Christmassy at all apart from the snap element. Not a bad thing at all. You could even match your Christmas table (or party table) to them if you wanted.
When you open the box, you spy a small pack of 6 different coloured papers (remember to keep these with the crackers as you need the when you break them open as these are the papers you will use to create your masterpieces with). 6 different patterns in the paper and the crackers, so they match beautifully. Not sure if you are meant to use the corresponding paper with the cracker insets but whatever you choose it all works out the same. Again these are quite large and firm, but totally hand made. The crackers have been put together by an individual who has slipped the tab into each part, sealing the little lucky trinket and origami pattern inside for you, then have hand tied each end with natural fibres to give them a stunning finish. Easy to put together and easy to take apart if you wanted to add a little something extra in to them too.
The snap is the same as the Foodie Crackers so it’s loud and needs to be pulled quite forcefully to break apart. When you crack them open, you again get a lovely sized hat but this time instead of a gift, you get a small trinket (possibly a Japanese lucky charm) with a set of instructions. These instructions give you a basic origami pattern and a more intricate one as well as different ones on the back to generally make. We only opened a couple of them as we wanted to keep some for Christmas Day as I’m always looking for things to do that day (I can’t bear just sitting down watching rerun movies) but pulling just 2 gave us the opportunity to see what was inside. We both got the same charm (of which I grabbed both) and different main origami patterns (the ones on the back were the same however) but only Andy was brave enough to give one a go there and then making a Fox Charm (well, nearly but we couldn’t get it to join without sticky tape). Well worth the money and something I hadn’t seen before. Last year we had something similar which was making planes (which we didn’t do very successfully) however these were better as this time as at least we created something this time).
Again, another fabulous box of crackers that I would be more than happy to have at my dinner table (hence why we saved 4 for Christmas Day) and both highly recommended if you want something a bit different from picture frames and plastic trinkets. I’m going to keep my eye on Culture Vulture too as they do have sales quite often so if I can grab some more crackers with a little discount I’ll be a very happy Christmas Elf.