Christmas Crackers: Sweet Beginnings
Dating back to Victorian-era England, Christmas crackers were first created in the 1840s by London sweet shop owner Tom Smith. Looking for a way to promote his sugared almonds, he began selling them in a twist of paper with sentimental love notes inside. One Christmas night, after hearing the crackle of a log he had just put on the fire, he became inspired to create the tube-shaped packaging and add the surprise "crack."
By the end of the 19th century, toys and hats were added to the package and crackers soon became an established Christmas tradition. To partake in this party game, two people pull each end of the cracker like a wishbone until it snaps with a small bang, revealing fun gifts inside. Today, nearly every household in the United Kingdom enjoys this custom with friends and family during the holidays.