If you grew up across the pond, you may not be aware of one of the most wonderful Christmas dinner traditions of all time – the Christmas cracker.
No table is complete without these festive decorations, which are designed to be pulled apart between two people revealing little treasures inside – a bit like a personal piñata. The main chamber of the cracker splits with a sharp bang, leaving one person with the bigger half which generally entitles them to the prizes within.
A classic cracker will contain a paper hat to be worn for the duration of the meal, a joke guaranteed to be met with groans and eyerolls from everyone at the table, and a random and often completely useless present – ranging from mini screwdrivers to fake moustaches.
Of course more luxury options can be purchased, stuffed with champagne truffles, or scented soaps – but where’s the hilarity in that?! In Ireland the shops are bursting with Christmas Crackers all through December, but if you’re having trouble procuring a pack you are can always make your own – giving you total control of the wonders that will spill out on the table come Christmas Day!
If you came from a particularly organised Irish household, a homemade Christmas Pudding would be a customary way to satisfy your sweet tooth after your meal. However, a classic Irish Christmas pudding is prepared up to six weeks in advance, to allow the cake to be fully saturated with all the delicious tastes and scents.