The History of Christmas Crackers
The story of the traditional English Christmas cracker begins in France. While on holiday there, Tom Smith, an English confectioner, discovered “bonbons”, sugared almonds individually wrapped in a twist of waxed paper.
Tom brought the idea to England and marketed his bonbons for Christmas. They were a big success but other manufacturers copied his idea. Inspired by the Chinese New Year crackers containing predictions, he included love mottos in his sweets.
Looking for more novelty, one day Tom (so the story goes) kicked a piece of log which had fallen from the fire and the resulting spark gave him an idea to make sweets to be pulled with a bang: Christmas Crackers.
He invented cracker snaps – two strips of chemically impregnated paper which cracked when pulled apart. Later a surprise gift was added to the crackers and the mottos were replaced by jokes. Christmas crackers as we know them were born.