Homemade Christmas crackers (we call them bon bons), have been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember. I’ve enjoyed taking on the role of bon bon maker for quite a few years now – you can see another year’s bon bons here.
These particular Christmas crackers were for a Christmas party that I attended with friends. Such a beautiful setting, there were 19 of us gathered outside on a long trestle table, covered in a white linen tablecloth, with branches of holly and red baubles, the ‘good glasses’ and the ‘good silver’, fabulous food and company… I digress. Remember when gatherings were so simple and… large?
Cracker making is honestly much easier than you think and I’d encourage you to get the kids making the bon bons this year. That way you get something customised exactly for your gathering and the kids make a nice contribution to your Christmas celebrations.
If you make your own Christmas crackers you can banish those dreadful Dad jokes and plastic crap you find in commercial crackers. The stuff that everyone just throws in the bin. I wrapped these Christmas crackers with old sheet music for something different and this was what I put inside:
Each year I include a snap and a hat inside the crackers, but everything else varies each year. It depends on who I’m making them for, really. Your kids will have fun coming up with something customised for each of your guests.
For example, instead of jokes in these crackers, I used ‘conversation starters’, so after we’d opened the bon bons we went around the table completing sentences such as “My earliest Christmas memory is…”, “Christmas Carols make me…”, “My favourite Christmas tradition is…” and other non-Christmassy questions. It was a really fun way to learn more about each other and get everyone into a big conversation around the table.
Loads of ideas here: 100+ family conversation starters
Cute little seed kits
As well as some red and green m&m’s and some recycled sequins, I made up little ‘alfalfa sprout kits’ with some tulle, alfalfa seeds, a rubber band and printed instructions from here (with slight variation).
There are thousands of things you could put inside your Christmas crackers, but to match the sheet music, these homemade paper decos would have gone well inside.
Some other creative ideas that are a little outside the box are:
- these homemade ‘mini pick up sticks‘
- fabric covered hairties or magnets
- a marshmallows & toothpick activity
- Christmas themed activity sheet for people to complete then give out prize for winner
- or small puzzle pieces in each Christmas cracker that all fit together
Enjoy coming up with ideas of your own!
Do you make your own bon bons? What do you put inside?