Advent calendars, shmadvent calendars – this year we’re all about the crackers when it comes to novelty, festive treats.
And if you want to revel in the fun of pulling crackers across the dinner table, then this is for you.
From singular splurges that you won’t want to share, to packs of six or more crammed full of keepsakes for all of your friends or family, we’ve rounded up the best of the best. And to keep everyone happy we’ve scoured a range of categories, including our top picks from the best beauty buys, alcoholic indulgences, tasty truffles, aesthetically pleasing and just plain old fun.
There’s bound to be one that will suit you and whoever you spend Christmas with, or failing that you can just go full on Scrooge and treat yourself (Cowshed, we’re looking at you...)
Simply scroll down to start shopping.
Eve Lom is a brand known for its decadent stance on beauty, and it has no better home than Space NK – the modern-day, luxury apothecary.
This stylishly festive cracker hides the Kiss Mix lip treatment and balm duo, which smooths your smackers ready for all that puckering up under the mistletoe.
This sumptuous Sanctuary Spa cracker is more of a solo treat, because there’s no way you’ll want to be sharing this around the dining table.
Treat yourself to a plethora of delicious smelling bathroom goodies, including hand cream, heel balm and their signature, luxury bath float.
Because who doesn’t want to feel pampered at the most glamorous time of the year?
Drinks By The Dram
Gin fans (so, all of us then) steady yourselves, because we’ve found your dream cracker set. Drinks By The Dram have picked the best gins around, popped them into adorable little bottles and crammed them into fancy, gold crackers – and we want them, now.
The gin geniuses have also promised “crap jokes, party hats and detailed tasting notes” so we can geek out on the age and origin of each of our new tipples.
If you are holding a Christmas dinner party of the highest sophistication, there can be no more distinguished a cracker to pull than the Smythson of Bond Street variety, which surprises each guest with a mini notebook of their own.
The iconic luxury stationery and leather goods brand has launched this box of six crackers in a refined, metallic colour palette – perfect for those who recoil at the traditional greens and reds of the Christmas season.
Pack of six £195, smythson.com
One of the things we love most about the party season is the excuse to shimmer and shimmy all the way through December, and this Elizabeth Arden cracker will help us do both brilliantly.
The beauty brand has teamed up with Feel Unique for a special offer that sees the price of this corker reduced by nearly half, while still giving you some of their signature products including Grand Entrance Mascara in Stunning Black, Sheer Tint Lip Oil in Heavenly Rose and the Superstart Skin Renewal Booster.
Moët & Chandon
Nothing says party like popping a bottle of Moët & Chandon, so can you imagine the celebrations to be had when crackers and corks are all going off under one roof?
And if the simply delicious taste of our favourite fizz wasn’t enough, check out this beautifully blush packaging, which gives a millennial pink twist to the rose version of their classic champagne.
Available in both rose and blanc from the end of October.
If splendor is what you’re searching for, then look no further than this gorgeous Cowshed cracker, from the luxury group Soho House.
There’s three different kinds up for grabs, each with a mission to fragrantly nourish a different part of your body from the harsh winter weather. Choose between hands, body and lips for a sweet smelling treat...or splurge on the multi-set which features all three.
The choice is yours, but we know what we’ll be doing...
£12 each, cowshedonline.com
Crabtree & Evelyn
With the winter wind nipping away at our poor mitts, there’s no time like the present to treat yourself to a good hand cream.
Christmas may be all about giving, but how about extending the kindness to yourself with one of these Crabtree & Evelyn crackers, each filled with three seasonally scented 10ml hand creams.
Enjoy slathering on frosted spicewood, red berry and fir and white cardamom creams in the build up to the big day.
Charbonnel Et Walker
If you’re yet to sink your nashers into one of Charbonnel Et Walker’s luxuriously rich truffles, then ready yourself for a taste of what can only be described as pure heaven.
The chocolate aficionados seriously know their stuff, having been crafting confectionery since 1875 in their New Bond Street store, where they still reside today.
They’ve popped some of their legendary milk caramel praline sea salt truffles within two versions of Victorian themed crackers, featuring ballerinas or toy soldiers, which are available to buy separably or in a lavish drum filled with a mix.
£6.95 each, £45 for a drum, charbonnel.co.uk
Bluebird Tea Co.
Not all of us want to get sozzled every time we win the cracker pull, and for those who prefer tea to tipple we’ve found a drink-based cracker set that should certainly please.
This independent tea company has filled six crackers with silk tea bags and award-winning brews, to make the perfect present for a tea-lover, or a unique way to start your festive dinner.
Luxury stationery extraordinaire, Katie Leamon, has seriously upped the game when it comes to Christmas crackers. Come the 25 December, we bet you couldn’t be prouder to pass these marbled beauties around to your guests.
With a sophisticated spin on traditional cracker contents, gifts follow the botanical trend laden with garden twine and plant labels, which will make green fingered guests happy.
The Victoria & Albert museum is known for being the masthead of beautiful design, something which absolutely shows in this Alice in Wonderland Christmas cracker set.
Fans of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel will lose their heads (as the Queen of Hearts would say) over the gorgeously appliqued decorations and the luxurious metallic colour scheme.
The set of six have an old-fashioned feel, decorated with festive floral illustrations and much-loved characters like Alice and The Mad Hatter.
Spice up your festivities with these unusual Christmas crackers from artisan spice experts, Steenbergs. Ideal for a foodie friend, each cracker is filled with organic spices, carefully wrapped in three individual muslin cloths.
And that’s not even the best part – these organic spices are especially created to make delicious seasonal booze, perfect for mulling wine or cider with fruity, aromatic flavours.
£3.50 each, steenbergs.com
Drinks By The Dram
No you’re not seeing double, although you could be after you’ve finished with this cracker set. Similar to their gin version, Drinks By The Dram are also doing a glitzy spirits and liqueurs set of six crackers, filled with a mixture of alcohol including gin, cherry brandy and bourbon.
After all, not everyone’s chosen poison is the same and we love how this impressive assortment opens up our palettes to a whole range of tipple-y treats.
Why not give yourself the gift of a peachy pout this Christmas? Or if peach isn’t your thing, don’t worry, the French beauty brand has created three individual crackers, each containing a different lip colour.
Choose between Red Passion, Beige a Nu and Pink Fever just in time to don your new shade at the Christmas do.
Elemis is known for its fabulous skincare products, so who wouldn’t want to receive a cracker crammed full of skin nourishing minis?
The Skincare Cracker, which is available exclusively from Elemis’ online store, includes their award-winning Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm and a bottle of Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil.
This dream team will get yours, or a lucky friend’s, skin glowing in no time.
This playful brand is a favourite of ours, known for its creativity and all round gorgeousness. These colourful crackers may not hold beauty products, or delicious chocolates, but they are very cute.
Plus, each time you pull one you’re met with a flurry of pastel confetti and who doesn’t want that?
Pop one of these on every place mat and watch the smiles grow as your guests struggle to resist these little bundles of fun.