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The Origins of Christmas Crackers and Some Cracking Cracker Jokes!

Stella Kaye enjoys creating quotes, jokes and one-liners when she's too busy to write anything longer!


Can You Cracker Joke?

Have you often wondered who makes up the jokes found in your Christmas crackers? They are deliberately corny but that's all part of the fun and chances are with a little effort you could come up with better ones yourself.

Some people can devise jokes, quips and puns very easily even in the course of normal conversation and others can't do it at all. You have to have a love of words and see a connection between them to come up with an association. This doesn't always come naturally but you'll get better with practice.

Start off by trying to write a few simple one-liners or Christmas cracker jokes in a question and answer format such as the ones below, before attempting something more difficult that builds up to a punchline.

If you're bored with board games this Christmas, why not get your family to join in the festive fun by holding a competition for the best Christmas cracker joke?

Christmas cracker jokes can be about anything you like and don't necessarily have to be about Christmas itself.

Q: Where do dentists get their petrol?

A: At a filling station.


Q: Why should you tell the time on your watch instead of a mobile phone?

A: Because it's always better to have time on your hands.


Q: Why did Dracula never marry?

A: He preferred to remain a bat-chelor as there was too much at stake.


Q: What did it say on the door to the maternity ward?



Q: What is the Prime Minister's favourite piece of furniture?

A: A cabinet


Q: Why did the dog go into the betting shop?

A: Because he wanted to Winalot


Q: What did one vulture say to the other?

A: 'What a carrion!'


Q:Why didn't the owl pass his driving test?

A:Because he didn't give two hoots.

Christmas Jokes

A brief History of Christmas Crackers - They Really Were A 'Grate' Idea!

The traditional Christmas cracker can be compared to the Chinese fortune cookie, but crackers are much more fun. The idea originated in Victorian London of the 1840s.

Tom Smith, a sweet maker, thought of including short paper mottos in between his sweets and their wrappers in much the same way as fortune cookies have mottos enfolded in the space inside them. After a trip to France, Tom was impressed with traditional French almond bonbons encased in their frilly, paper wrappers. Unfortunately, his own bonbon style sweets didn't sell but this was perhaps a blessing in disguise as sweet success was to come from something completely different.

Tom's eureka moment came whilst sitting by his log fire one evening; when noticing the crackling and sparking noises it made, he decided it would be a great idea to place a small toy or novelty item along with a motto or saying inside a hollow tube which could be brightly decorated and pulled apart with a spark and a bang. What a great conversation piece to have on the table at Christmas dinner as part of the festivities!

And thus, the Christmas cracker was invented. Tom set up a cracker factory which went from strength to strength and after his death, his sons carried on the family tradition and added their own idea of including paper hats inside their Christmas crackers. The business still survives in the UK today and has a royal warrant.

You can perhaps see a resemblance between sweets in fancy paper which has been twisted around them at the ends, and the traditional Christmas cracker... and at Christmas, thanks to Tom Smith, you can spoil yourself and have both!


© 2017 Stella Kaye


ba mitchell on December 10, 2017:

I think combining the age old tradition of crackers with that tradition of a message in a Chinese cookie is wonderfully initiative and shows great promise

Very best personal regards ba mitchell retired as of this month as an executive vice president of the largest food manufacturing company in the world with an undergraduate degree in English started study in Cambridge England . I've lectured on three continents as a motivational speaker and pride myself on being able to identify someone that combines the new with the old traditions

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