They may make you groan and chuckle in equal measure, but Christmas cracker jokes are part of the festive fun
It’s Tom Smith’s fault.
After adopting the French idea of wrapping sugared almonds in fancy paper, the London confectioner decided, in the late 1840s, to expand his market from the discerning Victorian gents who were buying them as tokens of affection for their lady friends at Christmas.
Mottoes and poems had already been included, but one night the bangs and crackles from his log fire gave him the idea of having the tokens erupt from the package with a bang. To the gentry, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a small explosion.
Buying a mild gunpowder formula from Brocks Fireworks, Smith set to work… and the Christmas cracker was born. Paper hats were added in the 1900s when his sons ran Tom Smith’s Crackers, and in the 1930s, jokes replaced the poems.
With the Royal Household as a customer, the company has flourished, although the standard of humour has not, spawning a genre of excruciating puns and riddles such as these little gems:
What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinsellitis.
Why did nobody want Rudolph and Blitzen at the market? They were two deer.
Where does Santa send his overweight helpers? To the elf spa.
What goes Oh, Oh, Oh? Santa walking backwards.
What do you call a line of men waiting for a haircut? A barberqueue
What do you call a boomerang that does not come back? A stick.
What’s the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary one? The Christmas alphabet has No-el.
What do snowman wear on their heads? Ice caps.
What’s Santa’s favourite pizza? One that’s deep pan, crisp and even.
Why are Santa’s deer always wet? They’re rain deers.
A drummer has moved in next door. He’s got four daughters all called Anna, and when asked how he identifies them, he said: Anna 1, Anna 2, Anna 3, Anna 4.
What do frogs wear on their feet? Open-toad sandals.
Someone threw a bottle of Omega 3 pills at me. Luckily my wounds are only super fish oil
What happened to Santa when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker.
And finally, after the COVID-ravaged year we have endured, this year’s crackers might include:
Why did Mary and Joseph miss their conference call? There was no Zoom at the inn.