ove them, or hate them - the Christmas cracker is an important part of festive traditions. No Christmas dinner place-setting seems complete without the compulsory Christmas cracker containing the promise of a paper hat, small gift and the little piece of paper with a riddle or joke to make you groan.
But how did it all start? How did crackers come to be invented?
A London confectioner called Tom Smith had been selling a fancy wrapping which held a few sweets and a small toy. In 1850 he was sitting in front of his log fire, when he became aware of the sparks and cracking noises coming from the logs. Inspiration struck, and Tom Smith began to think how he could produce a package of sweets and toys that could be revealed with a cracking sound when the wrappings were pulled in half.
It took Tom Smith two years of work which resulted in the first crackers being produced and Tom Smith becoming a successful cracker manufacturer.
Apart from the paper hat and gift, an important part of the cracker is the joke or riddle. Here is a celebration of 20 of the best and worst of the Christmas cracker jokes of all time. You can decide which ones are the best and which ones are the worst. You have been warned!
Q. What do you get if you cross a centipede and a parrot?
A. A walkie-talkie
Q. Why does a horse have six legs?
A. ‘Cos it has forelegs in front and two legs behind.
Q. What did the grape say when the elephant stepped on it?
A. Nothing. It just let out a little wine.
Q. What do you call a fish with no eyes?
Q. what do you get if you cross Father Christmas with a detective?
A. Santa Clues
Q. What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A. No idea (no eye deer)
Q. Where do ghosts go at Christmas?
A. To a phantomime
Q. What are the two largest women in America?
A. Mrs Sippy and Miss Ourey
Q. What do you call two rows of cabbages?
A. A dual cabbage way
Q. What has two heads, one tail, four eyes, two antlers and a long white beard?
A. Father Christmas on a reindeer.
Q. What’s the last thing you take off before you get into bed?
A. Your feet off the floor.
Q. What pets make the most noise?
Q. Why wasn’t Cinderella any good at football?
A. Her coach turned into a pumpkin.
Q. Why did the thief take a bath?
A. To make a clean getaway.
Q. I occur once in every minute, twice in every moment, but not once in a hundred thousand years. What am I?
A. The letter M
Q. Why couldn’t the bicycle stand up?
A. Because it was two tyred (too tired)
Q. What type of sandals do frogs wear?
A. Open-toad (open toed)
Q. How many sweets can you put into an empty bag?
A. Only one. After that it isn’t empty.
Q. What is the wettest animal?
A. A reindeer (rain deer)
Q. What’s worse than raining cats and dogs?
A. Hailing taxis