The men who put the cheese into the (Christmas) crackers
You might or might not know that the Christmas cracker was invented by Tom Smith, in 1847. Smith was a confectioner who sold sugared almonds wrapped in twisted paper, and very popular at Christmas they were, too. He started adding mottos and love poems to his almonds, being as they were largely bought by gents for their lady friends.
Inspired by the cracking of a log in his fire, he added the surprise ‘bang’ (because what says “I love you, my darling” like gunpowder and a minor coronary, after all?)
But it was in the 1900s when his sons were in charge of the business, that they added the paper hat. And, in the 1930s the love poems and mottos were replaced by jokes. How the old romantic Smith Senior felt about this, we couldn’t tell you.
Tom Smith’s Crackers still trades to this day and even supplies the Royal Household. Question: What does the Queen sound like when she groans at a bad joke?... No, this isn’t a gag, we were just genuinely wondering… But if it’s jokes you’re after, we have gathered together a few of the cheesiest, most groan-worthy going. Stand by with your Ba-Doom Tishes!
Q. What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?
Q. What do you call Father Christmas on the beach?
A. Sandy Claus.
Q. What happens when Santa’s elves are naughty?
A. He gives them the sack.
Q. Who does Santa phone when he’s ill?
A. The National Elf Service.
Q. Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?
A. Mince spies
Q. What do you call a group of chess players bragging about their prowess in a hotel lobby?
A. Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
Q. What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
A. Can you smell carrots?
You can find more Christmas miscellany (and some rather lovely crackers, too) in our December issue, on sale now.