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One thing which always bugs me about Christmas is the contents of Christmas crackers.  Once again, my daughter merrily pulled a cracker to reveal a thrilling and never-to-be-used-again-unless-fairies-really-exist-and-I-bet-they-use-moss-anyway-because-it’s-nicer tiny plastic comb.

Here it is:

This, along with all its tiny little petrolium-derived brothers and sisters, will probably outlast us all, possibly end up lodged in a fish rendering unable to eat, and brought roughly 0.000001 nanosecond of… wait… was that even joy?! No. Christmas disappointment.

This year in our house, we are making our own crackers.  It is seriously easy to do, and you can put all sorts in them – chocs, jokes, sporks, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle (to fit with others in other crackers for the same occasion), dares, wishes, engagement rings.

Here is how:

1. Assemble what you will need.

  • The obvious tools of scissors & tape or glue;
  • Some pretty paper (here I’m using a page from a long-forgotten magazine), bits of ribbon and a toilet roll inner tube;
  • A cracker snap – available online and from places like Hobbycraft;
  • Whatever you want to put in the cracker e.g. some choc; a spork; a joke; part of a rotating candle (again with the other parts in the other crackers for the same occasion); some bulbs to plant… whatever.

2. Stuff the goodies into the toilet roll and place on the paper, popping a small piece of tape to hold one end of the paper to the roll before rolling.  You can also secure the cracker snap to the paper at either end with a small bit of tape to ensure it pulls and snaps.

3. Roll in the paper and secure with small piece of tape and tie each end with ribbon or string or whatever you fancy using.

Et voila!

A cracker, with NICE things inside.  You can make it personal, with a note to a specific person (instead of a card) and something you know they’d like.

And what is the resulting waste? Paper, roll & choc wrapping to be recycled; cracker snap and a tiny bit of tape to be binned (perhaps glue is preferable?); gifts to keep and a joke to frame.  Or maybe that is just this one below (written by my daughter, from her own imagination, and now subject to copyright…):

A few other thoughts on gifts:

You may have seen these suggestions in our November newsletter – today is that LAST day to order the second suggestion if you want to receive the card in time for Christmas:

With gift-giving becoming a focus for many over the next few months, why not pop one of these in someone’s stocking?

  • The FoE Clean Air kits are fab, and easy for children to use (6+, with adult help) – and they will tie in with work we hope to be doing in early 2018.  Results feed into this funky map, and the more West Oxford data we can collect the better.  Get your kit here for £15.
  • To play a part in tackling the problem further afield, buy someone a solar lamp via Oxfam. – 8 hrs left to order!!

And here are a couple of interesting posts on the subject of Christmas gifts – one with lovely ideas for non-toy gifts and one about the darker side of Christmas consumption.

Seasons greetings from LCWO!


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