Why I am making Christmas crackers this year
When GD and I moved down to Cornwall we wanted to step out of our automated London life and connect more deeply to the natural rhythms of nature. In the 30 months we have been here we have worked towards a more sustainable lifestyle, securing our allotment has been a major boon towards this move and has been providing us with an abundance of fruit and vegetables, our two chickens Fae and Crystal have been laying almost non stop until the last few weeks when Crystals spectacular moult has halted her side of production. Crystal on the right, look no tail feathers! During this time I have been studying for two exams in holistic healing therapies and battling some chronic health conditions. Exams have finally been taken and excited to have passed my colour healing with distinction, still awaiting crystal healing result. This has taken a lot of my time and am so looking forward to having some freed up days now to concentrate on expanding skills such as preserving, soap and paper making, cooking from scratch, crafts and knitted goods and our candle making which we make from scrap wax.
So todays offering may be simple, but for me it is special because it is the first thing I’v made since being time freed and the first day of taking a step towards our goal of a simpler more meaningful way of living.
The paper we used to make the crackers and the snaps were left overs, we used pretty coloured string from the craft box, so just the sweets to pop in as surprises needed to be brought and we got these from the pound shop. We wrote out some jokes to add to the crackers on slips of cardboard we pinked with some shears
and put freebie xmas stickers on the front of the joke to show which side to read first, then googled how to make the crackers so they really went off with a ‘bang’!. Next year we will be aiming to make the surprises or thrift shop them.
9 crackers were needed to take up to my daughter at the weekend and 13 for Christmas day dinner.
First cut out A4 sheets of paper, then measure out 10 cms from each end widthways and draw a line from top to bottom with a sharpened pencil. This will help the paper to tear more easily when pulled or you can pin prick tiny holes down the line approximately 1 cm apart as shown.
Take a snap and pop a little glue onto each end and attach the snap to the top of the paper.
Allow plenty of time to dry properly before constructing crackers.
Place 3 loo roll tubes at the bottom of the paper and roll up, keep the seam under the roll while you take hold of one of the tubes and pull it approximately 1 ” out giving you enough room to give it a little twist to the right, then push it back on itself a little to give the section look to the cracker. Tie off with string or ribbon so the seam is still underneath.
Secure the tie and remove the extra cardboard roll.
Fill your cracker, pop your selection in the other end of the cracker and then repeat the tying off process.
Am looking forward to using salvaged paper next year, like the type that comes around parcel deliveries and then decorating with stamp ink and dried foliage.
Below are some cards we have begun to make for this Christmas.
We’ve been working on some gift ideas using candles we’ve made.
We like this idea of some tea bags and chocolate in a little organza bag to go with the candle which we wrapped hessian around and attached a wood cut out to.
It is so easy to get caught in a way of life where we are never present in the moment, leading up to Christmas it takes real effort to slow down and make preparation fun not pressured. Also when there is so much around us as well, I just didn’t want our resources wasted, I remembered some of this family’s best times have been when we didn’t have a penny to our name, not even beds or a t.v. . We told stories, sang songs and we got inventive, we made beds out of pallets and gave home baked goodies as gifts and those gifts meant something, so this is why I am excited to make christmas crackers this year.