I love Christmas crackers. I am one of those people who still gets a fright when they go bang (see also: fireworks, balloons, popcorn). I always wear my party hat, I always laugh at the lousy joke, and I always take my cracker present home with me, no matter how useless or ugly it may be.
Sadly, I also always leave buying my crackers to the last minute, so I am left with a reduced box of Tesco Value Disappointment every Christmas Eve, while everyone else swanned off with the good stuff weeks before. This year, things are going to change. Because look: Tatty Devine Christmas crackers.
Now, they're £75, but stick with me. I'm going to be able to talk you round. Those little perspex shapes stuck to the top? You're going to make necklaces with them. Inside each cracker, there's a chain, jump rings, a jewellery box, and instructions (plus a hat and a joke, naturellement). Inside the box, there are two pairs of jewellery pliers to share.
So, they're £12.50 a cracker, which equals £12.50 a necklace. A Tatty D moustache or bowtie necklace would set you back over twenty quid. By my reckoning, this means the crackers are a BARGAIN. Also, crafty fun on Christmas Day = priceless.
If I can't have Tatty Devine crackers, then I definitely want this Present & Correct Office in a Cracker. They're £11.50 each, and you'll get a stamp, Scrabble tile magnet, Christmas pencil and all kinds of other stationery-centric goodies like clips and rubbers and string (!). And aren't they so graph-paper-perfect? Handmade by ladies in Dorset, apparently. Happy Early Christmas, ladies in Dorset. It's time to put your feet up now.
Gourmet guests will appreciate these Cook's Crackers. Practical and pretty gifts galore. A nutmeg grater! Mini gingerbreadmen cutters! A tiny balloon whisk so that you can make like Nigella and stow one in your handbag for whisking emergencies (this is A Real Nigella Thing. Me neither.) Anyway, they're £50 for six from Fortnum & Mason.
Two very enthusiastic thumbs up to Fortnum's for their Terrific Tipple crackers, too - each containing a boozy miniature of wonderful stuff like Hendrick's gin or Cointreau, they'll assist everyone in their quest for Festive Oblivion.
These Emma Bridgewater Joy crackers have sold out on her own website (What did I tell you? EVERYONE IS MORE ORGANISED THAN ME), but happily, if you really want them and you're willing to pay a few quid extra in order to get them, Selfridges has them in stock at £17.50 for six.
You can't tell from this photo, but this Rather Large Cracker from Hotel Chocolat is, as its name suggests, rather large. At £38, you'd hope so. It contains 40 delicious chocolates and 12 party hats and jokes, so it's definitely not a one-person cracker (unless you're playing host to a chocoholic hydra). Use it as the centrepiece of your table then crack(er) it open over coffee.
If you're having particularly smelly people over for Christmas, these Maison Martin Margiela crackers are the answer to your prayers. Each cracker contains a miniature bottle of Maison Martin Margiela's Untitled eau de parfum. Very swish. They're £40 for six from Selfridges.
Also from Selfridges, these Lancôme crackers probably won't be The Number One Best Ever Cracker for your menfolk, unless they're drag queens. That aside, they're lovely, and they're £50 for six. Fingers crossed everyone forgets to take their cracker gifts home with them, and you get to keep them ALL.
These Grow Your Own Vegetables crackers contain a packet of vegetable or herb seeds and a recipe, so your friends and family can think of you and your Christmas dinner triumphs every time they snip some basil from their bush (stop it). They're £14.50 for six from Amazon, and they're made by King of Crackers, Robin Reed. Be sure to check out the amazing handbell cracker set, too.
Q: What's Santa's favourite pizza?
A: One that's deep pan, crisp and even.
(I just couldn't help myself. Hee!)