Last year, for the first time in 30 years, I had to miss my family's holiday celebration. I pictured them all gathered around the tree in my grandparents' farmhouse, and was determined to be part of the fun...I carefully packed up "Christmas" crackers for everyone and sent them off to Missouri. Luckily for me, there were only about 30 guests expected last year, rather than the usual 65 (!) aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and honorary cousins. 65 of anything is a lot to buy or make!Though the box was large, it weighed virtually nothing, so shipping was reasonable. Pretty, pretty crackers like these can be found for as little as $1.50/each (and if you know of someplace that sells them for less, please share!) so thirty of them didn't break the bank. Besides, it was the least I could do for missing Christmas!
- Absolutely Crackers has an amazing assortment, including musical, customizable, and Simpsons crackers!
- If you're particularly ambitious (or flush), there are crackers from Old English that you can fill yourself. They run about $2 each and include the traditional crown and terrible joke. You add treats and/or toys, creating luxurious, hilarious, or super-personal crackers.
- I especially love Not Martha's tutorial for making your own crackers. A cracker-making party would be so fun.
My mom told me the crackers were a success, with everyone wearing their flimsy crowns, telling corny jokes, and trading the tacky gifts (tiny playing cards, worthless nail clippers, etc). I would have liked to have been there — this year...
Image: Tess Wilson