12 Studies of Christmas: Christmas Crackers

Bang! What's Christmas dinner without crackers? The joke-filled explosives are festive dining staples that have graced our tables since their invention in 1847. We wanted to find out the nation's cracker habits, so we surveyed 100 people from across the UK and these were our results.

11% of our participants fell at the first hurdle and professed to having no crackers at Christmas.

Of the remaining 89 participants, only 24 crossed their arms when pulling their crackers.

Crossed or uncrossed, we found that almost exactly half (50.5%) described themselves as regular "losers" of their crackers.

That means 45 of our participants are left clutching an empty cracker-end and rueing their misfortune, while the other 44 can gloat over their paper crown and bad joke bounty.

Next up - contents. What do people want out of their cracker?

If there is one thing you can guarantee from one of these noisy packages, it's a paper crown. But what color crown does everyone secretly want to get? There was a fairly even spread of results here, but red came out on top with 29%. Gold, a more realistic crown colour perhaps, came in second, while pink was the least popular.

Regardless of whether they get their favoured color, 14 of our participants refuse to wear their flimsy festive head-gear altogether.


In terms of gifts (see: tat) there was a clear winner amongst our 89 cracker pullers.

Those little metal puzzles that you only find in crackers came out on top with 23 votes. Screwdrivers, maybe the only cracker gift with practical utility, came in second with 12. The iconic fake plastic moustache, water pistol and jumping frog failed to appeal, winning 2 votes each.

A few people had no preference among our options and instead opted for "Booze" and "Good quality porcelain ornaments, not tat" as their cracker gifts of choice. Although they might sound nice, it might not be a great idea to put highly fragile goods in a package that is notoriously forcibly pulled apart, sending its contents straight onto the floor. Personally I'd rather a plastic moustache up my nose than a smashed ornament all over the carpet!


Easily the most important element of any cracker, however, is written on an innocuous piece of paper inside...

In a surprisingly close race (although perhaps unsurprising considering their reputation?) jokes were the favoured written gift with only 34 participants.

Riddles, the thinking-person's jokes, came in second with 31 and trivia was the favourite of 23 participants.


Finally, we asked our participants to write their favourite Christmas cracker jokes.

We got a massive range of absolute groaners, but easily the most popular joke (with 5 repetitions) was - "Who hides in the bakery at Christmas? A mince spy"

We couldn't let this repository of hilarity go to waste, so here are all the other Christmas clangers submitted by our participants (bar a few that were not appropriate for publication - I don't want to know where those participants buy their crackers!) Look out for some original, and completely mystifying, comic compositions and enjoy! [Amount of repetitions noted in square brackets.]

how does santa keep track of fireplaces? He keeps a logbook

How does King Wenceslas like his pizza? Deep and crisp and even!

what did santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker!

What do ghosts eat for breakfast? Dreaded Wheat!

Why was the turkey in the pop group? Because he was the only one with drumsticks. [x3]

What do you get if you cross Santa with a Duck? A Christmas cracker

Who's Rudolph's favourite pop star? Beyon-sleigh [x2]

How you can tell that Santa is real? You can always sense his presents!

Why are pirates great? They just arrrrr

What do u call a spider with no legs....? A current

What do you call Santa when he takes a break? Santa Pause.

How much does it cost Santa to park his sleigh and reindeer? Nothing, it's on the house

Two snowmen were standing in a field. One said, "Can you smell carrots?" [x3]

What goes "Oh oh oh"? Santa walking backwards [x2]

What do you call a fake opera singer? Placebo Domingo (I actually made that one up!)

What do you call a ship that's sunk and shaking. A nervous wreck.

When is a boat just like snow? When it's adrift!!

What do you call a man with a spade on his head? Doug.

What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark? Frostbite

why don't polar bears eat penguins? Because they can't get the wrappers off

What do snowmen wear as hats? Ice caps. [x2]

What do you call a cat in the desert? Sandy Claws

What did the hat say to the shoe? You go on ahead, I'll follow on foot!

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? Claus-trophobia!

what's brown and sticky? a stick

What did Santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker.

What’s the stupidest animal in jungle? polar bear

Why are elves so depressed? Because they have low elf esteem.

How the chicken cross the road? To get to other side....

Why is oo-ah bird so called? Because it lays square eggs.

What do you get if you cross Santa with a detective? Santa Clues!

where are there no tablets in the jungle? because the paracetamol

I sold my vacuum on ebay... it was gathering dust

What do you call a boomerang that does not come back? A stick. [x2]

What is Dominic Cummings' favourite christmas song? Driving Home for Christmas [x2]

why does a golfer wear 2 pairs of trousers? in case they get a hole in one.

What do you call a sheep with no legs? A cloud!

Why couldn't the skeleton go to the christmas party? He had nobody to go with! [x2]

what did jack say the day before christmas? it's christmas eve!

How does an Eskimo build his house? Igloos it together!

What did sushi A say to sushi B? Wasa-bi!

How does Darth Vader enjoy his Christmas Turkey? On the dark side! [x2]

What do you call a one eyed reindeer? No eye-deer! [x3]

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