Ok, I have had a lot of emails about the whole Christmas Cracker and Mince Pie thing. Today I will talk about the Christmas Cracker.
On Christmas Day or any 'Christmas' meal leading up to the big day, (at school, work, restaurants etc), you will have one of these at your place setting. Before eating, you cross your arms in front of you, you hold one end of the cracker on the person either side of you. So everyone is holding one part of a cracker in both hands. You then count to three and all pull together, the cracker makes a little bang and if you are left holding the bigger part of the cracker, you win the contents of the cracker. If you are unlucky enough to get two short ends, you don't win anything - although people will always share out the hats.
Inside the cracker you will get one paper hat, one joke and one little gift, (like the ones pictured below). You then put on your paper hat, read out your joke and get ready to tuck into your Christmas dinner. Over the years, you get used to the humiliation of the paper hat and just go with the flow. Just grin and bare it!!
Everyone wears the paper hats. Here is my Grandad-in-law wearing his paper hat, (bless him, he passed away this year but he got to the ripe old age of 99):
Here is me, very pregnant, with my paper hat on:
And being the cruel English Mother that I am, I have passed the tradition on to the Oompa Loompas. The hats only come in one size, not so good if you have very large heads or very little heads!!
Sometimes you luck out and get a glitzy one:
So that is the English Christmas Cracker, tomorrow I will be dissecting the Mince Pie!! Yay, I bet you just can't wait!!!