The Best Christmas Crackers: ParentDish Review

13/11/2011 22:34 | Updated 22 May 2015

What do you call a man with brown paper trousers?


What is Santa's favourite pizza?

One that's deep pan, crisp and even

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a terrible joke, paper crown and crackers to pull. For many of us they are an essential part of the festivities.

And some people clearly like to go to town on their Christmas crackers, since Fortnum & Mason are selling six crackers for £1000. Yes, a cool grand, or just over £166 each for "the most sumptuous crackers you can ever hope to pull". At that price, I'd expect a stand up comedian to come and deliver the jokes, and do the washing up afterwards.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we've tested some of the best crackers around for Christmas 2010:

Last year our family's cracker of choice was from supermarket chain Aldi. This year, their best-selling luxury range (8 for £9.99) look stunning in a choice of silver, gold or purple with coordinating ribbons. The contents are great - we got lucky with a reading light complete with batteries. The only fault we could find with these was the unreliable bang. Of the six we pulled, half didn't pop.

If you want a decent pop to your crackers, Waitrose seems to be the place to go. We loved the children's selection in the Santa & Friends box (£10 for six). Contents include mini toys and keyrings, and a satisfyingly loud bang when pulled.

And for adults, Waitrose have a terrific Foodie range of crackers (£20 for six), each one containing a mini kitchen implement and a recipe. The first one of these we pulled contained star-shaped silicon cupcake cases and a recipe for Vanilla & Cardamom Creme Brulee. Stylishly packaged, these would make a nice indulgent gift to the cook if someone else is making your Christmas dinner.

For crackers which go on giving, Oxfam's Ethical Collection features Snakes & Ladders Crackers, where the packaging turns into a board game.

Or there's the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity Christmas Cracker, which raises money for children with life-threatening illnesses. These crackers with a conscience can be bought singly for £2 or in boxes of 5 for £10. As well as the traditional cracker contents, buying these puts you in with the chance of winning a £10,000 diamond.

For a traditional look that's a little more special than usual, online store Talking Tables have a good range of lovely crackers, including these hand-illustrated beauties at £18 for six.

And so that no one in the family feels left out, Poundland can supply a Christmas cracker for your cat or dog.

For more Christmas cracker ideas, New Mummy's Tips has rounded up a great selection under £8 here

What sort of cracker will you be pulling this Christmas? Leave a comment below

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