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The History of Christmas Crackers

Christmas crackers are a festive table decoration inspired originally from paper-wrapped sweets. Having discovered certain almond sweets in France in the 1840s, an English confectioner called Tom Smith developed his own wrapped sweets back home in London. To improve sales Tom added a motto to compete with other sweet sellers and a “snap” inspired by Chinese New Year firecrackers. By the 1860s the sweets were replaced by a small gift and the original sweet wrapper done away with for a larger and more substantial casing. 


Paper hats were added to the Christmas crackers by Tom Smith’s son Walter to be worn over the Christmas dinner. The idea of wearing party hats or crowns is thought to trace back to Romans wearing decorative headgear to celebrate Saturnalia - a festive celebration in the Winter Solstice. 


Traditional Christmas crackers have become a lot more wasteful. They are often not recyclable, being made from mixed materials, and the gifts being cheap and cheerful…..until now! Here at The Oathouse we make a huge selection of reusable fabric Christmas crackers that work in exactly the same way but can be used over and over again. The fabric crackers are pulled apart to reveal a hat and a gift and then the two halves are attached together for reuse.  Designed to last, you can pass them down the family, making them a family heirloom.

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