Surprise Balls, £7.50 each, Cox & Cox
Now, this year you might feel like ringing the changes on your Christmas table. Instead of your old bog-standard crackers, there are a few alternatives out there to fascinate both the kids and the adults. The above ‘Surprise Balls’ are from Cox and Cox, lovely to look at and wrapped up in ribbon these are a variation combining both cracker and pass-the-parcel with a surprise contained in each layer. Wrapped in a variety of different colour crepe papers, these balls will add a real cheery pop of colour to anyone’s table this year. My next option is sticking to a more traditional shape but this time with a twist on the contents. From one of my favourite independent online stationery and desk-top goodness, Present and Correct, these handmade crackers are very simply wrapped in graph paper and contain a sweet little selection of items including rubbers, gift tag book calendars, pencils and a chocolate sixpence.
handmade cracker, £11.50 each, Present & Correct
If you’re after a really nice cracker without the standard Christmas themes but with a slightly different illustration, then my favourite are absolutely the fabulous BPL crackers from Ben Pentreath. The paper is published by Pollock’s Toy Museum Trust and these crackers are covered in Pollock’s Zeotrope Strips. £40 for a tray of 6, these little pretties are filled with simple and unadorned ‘traditional’ gifts including marbles, a nail brush, some seeds and a die together with your standard fare of hat and jokes. These really are great but you may find that you do not want to snap them!
BPL crackers, £40 for 6, Ben Penreath
Images all taken from respective shop’s websites.