Merry Christmas everybody, the time of year we embrace all manner of tradition. We drag trees into our living rooms, adorn them with sparkly things, wrap gifts in gaudy paper and leave a mince pie on a plate for a fictional fat guy. While most Christmas traditions are strange, I think there's one that beats them all, and that is the Christmas cracker.
Christmas dinner is a staple. We all need to have that slap up meal that brings the family together. But eating isn't enough, we have to bring these brightly coloured cardboard tubes into it, and with them come all kinds of dilemma. Who do we share our cracker with? Why is no one sharing their cracker with me? If the other person gets the bigger half, do they keep it or give it back? We don't need this kind of tension before a big family meal, but the cracker provides it, with an added bang to boot.
It's not like crackers are important. You get a hat, sure, but only half the people at the table wear it (I don't because my head is too big, and also because I'm a terrible person). Apart from that, you may get a joke that makes everyone groan, and a trinket that you'll never use again. How many fortune telling fish, mini decks of cards and tiny padlocks does one person need?
I'm not sure how crackers evolved to be a Christmas tradition, but it's certainly one of the strangest, and it just seems to be a way to squeeze more money out of everyone during the festive season. Sure, it's a little bit of fun, we all appreciate a terrible joke once in a while, and I like it when the banger doesn't work the first time, so I have to do it outside the tube. It makes it so much louder. I guess the appeal of crackers is purely in the tradition, it's something that brings families together, a bit of festive fun before tucking into a good meal. But that doesn't automatically make them fun. Crackers are weird.
My rating: 1/5