Best Christmas crackers for pulling on the big day

What Christmas dinner would be complete without table crackers; surely not one sprout can be served until everyone is wearing a paper crown?

At the festive feasting table the humble Christmas cracker takes centre stage. Providing more than merely entertainment, with jokes and mini toys, crackers help to add a decorative touch the dining table. Choosing crackers comes down to two things, what they can add visually to enhance your table settings and also what little treasures are hiding inside.

If you’re looking to add a touch of bling you can’t go far wrong with plain gold or silver, just enough to inject some seasonal sparkle. If you have little ones around the table then choosing a festive character will command their attention.

This year we have seen the introduction of crackers that bring the family together more, whether that be the generous sharing sized design or the gifts inside that help to unite everyone – such as the xylophone crackers.

Generally speaking all crackers come with paper hats and jokes as standard, with gifts varying from place to place. We’ve picked a real mixed bag of crackers this year to suit all tastes and budgets.

Best musical crackers


You wouldn’t know just from looking at them but these crackers are filled with music. These fabulous crackers from the fun Lima Llama range at John Lewis contain all the elements you’ll need to play festive tunes on the xylophone – with eight xylophone blocks, eight knock rods and the all important conductor baton. Set of eight.

Buy now: Lima Llama Musical Xylophone Christmas Crackers, £22, John Lewis

Best unusual crackers


Jazz things up this year by choosing an unusual cracker design. This set of eight-sized cone crackers makes a fabulous alternative to traditional shaped crackers, you simply hold the base and pull the string at the top to open. Inside you’ll find a hat, good quality gift, classic joke and charade to get the games started. Set of six.

Buy now: Gold Cone Tree Christmas Crackers, £20, Marks & Spencer

Best luxury crackers


There’s no denying that Fortnum & Mason crackers simply ooze luxury thanks to the shimmering gold leaf exterior. These may be a little pricey but they contain silver-plated Fortnum’s gifts, including a mirror compact and butter knife. This set is ideal if you have an adults only Christmas. Set of six.

Buy now: Gold leaf Christmas Crackers, £60, Fortnum & Mason

Best novelty crackers


Proving hours of fun for all the family with these novelty ‘Selfie’ crackers. The set of six comes complete with assorted puzzles and games, the obligatory hats and six amusing masks to help create the perfect seasonal selfie – which in the social media savvy world we live in, is worth its weight in gold! Set of six.

Buy now: Tom Smith Christmas Crackers, £18, M&Co

Best fun crackers


The cactus has remained king of the interior prints this year, so it’s no surprise the prickly little characters are decorating popular Christmas buys. This quirky cactus set of crackers will add more than just a fun touch to table tops; the hidden prizes include a set of pencils, mini notebook, tape measure, protractor, heart-shaped sharpener and a mini stapler. Set of six.

Buy now: Cactus Kraft Christmas Crackers, £15, Paperchase

Best illustrated crackers


The twelve days of Christmas are captured in snow globes with these beautifully illustrated crackers. Not the twelve days of Christmas as we know from the song, these crackers feature 12 alternative characters and festive favourites instead. The colours featured are broad enough for this set to be added to any table colour scheme, particularly gold. Set of 12.

Buy now: Night Before Christmas Crackers, £25 set of 12, Laura Ashley

Best sharing cracker


Make the pulling of the crackers a whole family affair with this sharing style cracker. The design allows six people to pull the cracker at one time, so no more getting all tangled up with crossed arms. Contains paper hats, snap, disguises, star confetti, trivia and of course jokes.
Dimensions: H25 x W28cm

Buy now: Sharing Party Cracker, £14, Oliver Bonas

Related: The top trending gifts for Christmas 2018 revealed – are they on your wish list?

Make Christmas go off with a bang with any one of these crackers.

All the latest from Ideal Home