Wednesday, 16 January 2013

2004 - Christmas Crackers!

Crackers play an important role in English Christmas
celebrations. They contain a prize, a joke and a crown.

Lisa and I still fill each other's Christmas stockings and I managed to finish the shopping for that yesterday. I had the stuffers packed perfectly inside a box when I realized that I forgot to pack the Christmas crackers! Christmas crackers aren't part of American celebrations, so I'd never really heard of them until I moved here. They're fun and corny, so I knew she'd appreciate them. They're festively wrapped cylinders that you pull with a friend or family member until someone wins by yanking and keeping the bulk of the cracker, which contains the prize. Prizes are usually small, inexpensive tokens; a joke and paper crown are also inside, adding to the fun.

So, I got out a bigger box, then there was extra room! So, I baked Grandma Baker's Criss-Cross Cookies. I wound up with 4 1/3 dozen and I put two dozen in a plastic zip-lock bag (complete with Christmas design), which I wrapped in bubble wrap. I put the other two dozen in the freezer and ate one while it was still warm — ah, the privileges of being the cook!

I finished squeezing in the last of the presents and the box is ready to be mailed Monday morning. I'm sweating the international postage. Lots more baking yet to do — 21 days till Christmas. I can't help missing being in Louisville this December. I won't get to see Lisa's tree, or Mom's. And I won't be able to give the kiddos their gifts myself. And most of all, Charlie won't be there to share Christmas with his extended family. I'll be sure and get back there next December! And I'll probably take a few cookies with me.

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