Cheap gifts and bad jokes? No, all I want this year is a bespoke cracker

Cheap gifts and bad jokes? No, all I want this year is a bespoke cracker

Usually in November Victoria Wolf and her friends would be debating which restaurant to choose for their boozy Christmas party.

“We do all the standard things: turkey and trimmings,” she said. “And then we do a secret Santa in the afternoon and one of us has to dress up as Santa. It’s always very jolly and there’s a little bit of wine involved and everyone has a really nice time.”

Not this year, of course. The group of 14 – all in their late 20s, friendships formed at University College London and solidified in south London – are siloed in their homes, cut off by the pandemic. Some are abroad, like Victoria, who is in Germany.

DIY Christmas crackers are the answer. Victoria has arranged for individual crackers, filled with in-jokes and personalised gifts, to be sent to each of her friends’ homes, to be pulled during a virtual secret Santa party one evening in December.

Victoria Wolf.

“Video is awkward,” she said. “I thought if I can find someone who will send one cracker to each and every one of us at home, then we can have a cracker moment all together – we can all wear the hat. And maybe that will be a sort of glue for the call and help us feel a bit more connected.”

Fill-your-own Christmas crackers have been growing in popularity in recent years with a number of small companies starting up to meet demand, as well as larger retailers including Lakeland and John Lewis.…

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