The first time I finally saw a Christmas cracker after reading about them in my English books for so long, I admit to being disappointed. They were so shiny and perfectly formed and full of rather useless things…tho’ the paper hats might be fun. So one Christmas, I decided to fashion my own (but they don’t make a sound at all). I sold them at Christmas show or two and they were truly the prettiest thing in my booth, gently piled in a basket. Women bought them for their feast tables but also for hostess gifts and to peek out of the top of a stocking.


I pulled out my “token” box today and was so pleased to see all of the ingredients ready and waiting for me. I haven’t made them for my own table for a few years and didn’t really know what I would find. And I actually won’t be making any this year, either. My alternate plate adornment is a small Christmas book on each person’s plate and sometime during the meal, everyone takes a turn reading out a line or passage that speaks to them. It can be quite funny sometimes and I think that this year I would like to see what the four young men around the table choose. I still remember the year my eldest son switched out the book on his plate for his newly received Zombie Handbook and shared the most gruesome bit he could find. : )


At the end of this post, you will find a link to a print of these little labels that I use to seal the tokens, punched out with my scalloped punch…tho’ they could also simply be cut out with scissors…


And these tiny, festive pictures that I use as one of the fillers are also included on the printable…


You might be tempted to use an empty toilet paper roll for the cylindrical container, but then you would be left with those on the table and who wants that? After some experimentation, I came up with long strips of cardstock to roll up into the right shape. The first year, I hand-wrote out Christmas quotes that I liked on each piece and each person read out the passage they found in their token. When I began to sell them, I printed out nine different quotes, with embellishments, on my favorite Nepalese handmade cardstock. I wish I had those pages to share with you, as well, but they are unfortunately lost to a design program that is dreadfully outdated and can’t be opened. And they took so long to design, I can’t rustle some up for you at this moment. But the choosing and writing out can be quite pleasant, if you have the time…


Some other ingredients to fill the token are some punched snowflakes…


…acorns, small evergreen cones, bells, stars, candy…


If you are personalizing each one, it wouldn’t be hard to think of just the right thing to put inside…


When you have the small things assembled, simply nestle them together near one end of the cardstock and gently roll, using your fingers on the sides to push the bits back inside when they threaten to roll out…


Then you place the roll in the center of the sheet of tissue paper, near an edge (the longest edge is best, tho’ I didn’t figure that out for the photo until after rolling and finding the ends shorter than I like!), and roll, keeping a gentle pressure on the roll and the paper. For the cardstock piece I used, which is one third of letter size (so, approx. 3 1/2″ wide), I use tissue paper cut to approx. 14″ x 10″.



Next, a quick, tight twist at each end of the roll, enough to keep the ends closed while you pick up your piece of string (or ribbon…I like hemp twine and used it here) and tie simple bows that can be easily untied.


And lastly, just a bit of paste on the label and your first token is finished. You might want to make you own labels if you want to incorporate names into them and use the Christmas tokens as place-cards.


Enjoy, enjoy!

Christmas Token Page of Pictures