The 25 Best Christmas Crackers 2015
You know it’s almost Christmas when I round up a bunch of beautifully-festooned crackers, give them one almighty yank and – BANG – reveal all manner of miniature treasure, bad Dad jokes and silly paper hats, in my annual edit of the best Christmas crackers.
That’s right, the annual Wee Birdy Festival of the Cracker for 2015 is officially open, and I’m ridiculously excited to present my slightly bonkers obsession to my new We Are Scout readers (cue exploding cracker confetti jets).
Now in its eighth year, I’ve rounded up the best crackers around the globe, from the £5 budget-yet-beautiful box set to the £1,000 cray-cray crackers, and everything in between.
Here we go, my top 25 for 2015.
1. Meri Meri Santa and Reindeer Crackers, set of six, £25.95, from Selfridges.
You can always rely on Meri Meri, an American-based party supplies company, to deliver a fresh new look for crackers each year. With a different magic trick in each cracker, along with a joke and hat, your Christmas celebrations will get off to a jolly good start.
2. Fortnum’s Afternoon Tea Christmas Crackers, set of six, £100, from Fortnum & Mason.
Presented in Fortnum’s signature eau de nil snowflake pattern, and with a miniature caddy of tea and complementary jam in each cracker, these rather genteel crackers have a history of selling out before the end of November. Run, don’t walk.
3. Midnight tassel crackers, set of six, AU$110 from Papier D’Amour.
Bring a touch of regal royal blue to your Christmas table setting, with these handsome gold tassel crackers from Sydney’s Papier D’Amour. Each cracker includes a hat, snap, motto and a miniature luxe gift, such as champagne stopper, wine pourer and hip flask.
4. Multicolour Liberty Print Superior Christmas Crackers, set of six, £39.95, from Liberty. A long-time staple on the Wee Birdy Christmas cracker line-up, Liberty has made the list again with their super-pretty set of mix-and-match floral prints. This year’s gifts include a clothing brush, climbing clip, trolley keyring, wine aerator, wine pourer, ballpoint pen, measuring cup, silver mirror and metal yo-yo.
5. Harrods of London Cocktail Party Christmas Crackers, set of 6, £99.95 from Harrods. Lisa and I are a fan of the vintage gold-and-pink colour palette for Christmas this year, and apparently Harrods are too, with this sparkly set of cocktail party crackers adorned with pink grosgrain ribbons. For around £100, your guests score miniature silver gifts such as a compact, money clip and magnifying glass.
6. Xylophone crackers, set of six, AU$70 from Papier D’Amour. Whip your guests into a rollicking good round of Jingle Bells around the dinner table, with this set of xylophone crackers. Each cracker includes a xylophone block pitched to a different note with a numbered sticker, along with a striker, hat and snap. The nominated ‘conductor’ uses the supplied music sheet and baton to direct who should strike their block, and when. Good times!
7. Meri Meri pom pom crackers, set of six, £26.95 from Selfridges. Sporting an on-trend carnival look with gold embellishments and pom-poms, this Meri Meri set of crackers contains a fun collection of puzzles and toys.
8. Natural rainbow crackers, set of six, AU$75 from Papier D’Amour. Finish your Christmas table in rainbow splendour with this luxe set of crackers, and treat your guests to kitchen-themed gifts such as cookie cutters, wooden honey drizzlers and mini whisks.
9. RSPB Bird song crackers, set of six, £12.99 from RSPB. I have a soft spot for British bird charity RSPB, and their annual cracker line-up is always novel and creative. This year they’ve knocked it out of the park with their beautifully-on-theme ‘song bird’ crackers. Each cracker includes a joke, hat and a bird song card, which opens to release an individual British bird’s song. Create a cacophony over Christmas lunch with a round of ‘which bird is that?’ Love it.
10. Scissor Monkeys Luxury Chalkboard Christmas Crackers Sprouts, set of six, £35, from Not on the High Street. The much-maligned and misunderstood Brussels Sprout is a staple in a traditional British Christmas roast dinner, and it’s also assumed an iconic status in recent years, with many designers playing with the sprout theme. These chalkboard crackers would make the perfect finishing touch to a monochrome or Scandi-themed table setting, and sport a line-up of suitably eco old-school gifts including marbles, a wooden die and a box of coloured pencils.
11. Fortnum’s The King of Crackers, set of six, £1,000, from Fortnum & Mason. This year’s most expensive crackers in the world, Fortnum’s legendary ‘The King of Crackers’ box, will set you back a cool £1,000. I’m still holding my breath for Fortnum’s to release a rare breed of teacup ponies as their ‘luxury gift’ in each embellished cardboard tube, but until then, your guests will have to make do with the likes of a black leather card holder from Launer of London (the Queen’s handbag maker); a pair of navy knitted cashmere gloves from heritage Scottish brand Johnstons of Elgin; or artisan-made pearl studs from Colman Douglas. And hey – they get to keep the fabric hat. Bonus!
12. Silver Birch Connoisseur Crackers, set of six, £29.50 from Marks & Spencer. I always love M&S’s annual line-up of crackers, and this year their silver birch crackers make a suitably luxe statement for around 30 quid, with gifts such as a camera tripod, screwdriver set (which make surprisingly handy additions to any handbag) and a manicure set. Great value.
Now Shop the Best of the Rest
From Homebase’s best value £5 crackers to Brussels sprouts (again) with googly eyes, I’ve rounded up the best of the rest. Just click on the image and caption to buy.
Tell me: how did I do? Any favourites?
Maybe you’d like to read the very first Wee Birdy round-up of the best crackers in London, circa 2007 (warning: vintage blogging ahead).