This year I have had the time to contemplate many things, one of them being, eco friendly Christmas Crackers. Every year we gather at a family member’s home on Christmas day, to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to eat a rather large, albeit delicious lunch. Each family contributes a sizeable box of Christmas Crackers and during the course of the day, the children run around getting parents to tug on the opposite end of a cracker with them, releasing some sort of short lived treasure.
Now….. I am not sure if it is the whoops of joy from the children; Grandpa looking absurd with a paper crown on his head; the hilariously poor jokes and riddles; the familiar smell of gunpowder from the cracker or how they complement a beautiful Christmas table setting, but I am finding it difficult to cross Christmas crackers off my shopping list. I wonder if London sweet maker, Tom Smith, had any idea as he drew inspiration from the sparks and crackles of his log fire, that his brainchild would produce as much waste annually as Christmas crackers do. Initially the crackers were practical or used for noble causes. There were ones for single people, where the gifts were things like false teeth and wedding rings. Then there were crackers for Suffragettes campaigning to get women the vote, war heroes, Charlie Chaplain, the British Royal Family, crackers for Coronations and ‘Millionaire’s Crackers’ which contained a solid silver box with a piece of gold and silver jewelry inside. Hardly throw away stuff!
If twenty twenty has taught me anything, it is that less is more. Earth is groaning under the weight of plastic waste and reeling from the effects of deforestation. Do I really want to contribute to the additional plastic toys that will end up in the bin, along with loads of crinkle paper and cardboard cores? Perhaps we should afford good will to our environment along with mankind, when we celebrate ‘Day of Goodwill’ the following day.
This year my daughter and I will be creating an eco friendly Christmas cracker for each family member. We will be filling reusable bags, thereby reducing waste and recycling the cardboard from the cracker snap strip. Each bag will have a wooden name tag (heart shape) and will be filled with something useful for that particular person, along with a funny joke or riddle. Peeping out of the top of each bag will be a star, attached to a cracker snap, so that the children can still have their fun snapping the cracker. I hope you find this idea useful.
I have included photographs of the bags we are working on. If you are pushed for time and would like to purchase an assembled pack of 6 bags, 6 heart tags and 6 star cracker snaps, you will find the pack for sale under Products on our website. You will need to fill each bag with your own small gift.