Christmas crackers are a thoroughly British tradition that have only just in the last few years made it over to the United States. For many years they were pretty much impossible to find. Nowadays, you may have to look hard, but it is possible to find them. Most Americans are still pretty clueless about them though - the Americans I've met who know about them have all spent a Christmas in the UK or have a British relative. So I was surprised, not to say stunned, to see this in the seasonal aisle at my local supermarket this morning:
Yes, that's a box of crackers! ( Or "6 Celebration Cracker" as the box says!) Yes, they are red, white, and blue - with stars but no stripes! Yes, it's completely the wrong time of year for crackers. Remember though, that most Americans have no idea what crackers are and you have an opportunity to rework the tradition - the box reads:
"Party Surprise Fun!! Great for birthday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years . . . and more."
I didn't take a closer look at the box to see if there are instructions on what to do with the crackers - after all, if you haven't seen one before, it's not necessarily obvious! I wonder what's in them, and if Americans will wear the paper hats if there are any. I may have to go back tomorrow and buy a box. I wonder, if they sell well, if we'll start to see crackers for every 'occasion' - Halloween, Valentines' Day, Hannukah, weddings, baby showers . . . So much marketing potential that's been missed in the UK!
I decided to have a cup of tea instead of a cup of coffee with breakfast this morning. My son was appalled: "Tea this early in the day! Tea isn't for the
morning, it's for teatime in the afternoon!" He knows I have an alarm that goes off inside my head sometime midafternoon to remind me to have a cup of tea. We'll be out somewhere and I'll suddenly feel the urge for a cup of tea and know without looking at my watch that it must be sometime between 3 and 4. The kids and DH know that if I suddenly say "Ding, ding, ding" it means that alarm in my head has just gone off! It hadn't occurred to me though, until this morning, that the kids have never seen me (or anyone) drink tea at any other time of day!
DH bought me a mug like this for Christmas this year