United Kingdom

The two-metre Christmas crackers for a socially-distanced day

It's safe to say Christmas 2020 will be a slightly unusual affair thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

For those having family and friends over for the festive period, anti-bacterial soap might be as much of a must-have as turkey and brussels sprouts this year, while hugs may be kept to a minimum.

But even if you are taking advantage of the Christmas bubble relaxation of social distancing, perhaps you want to go a step further and still stay two metres away.

In that case, one online seller has a gimmick that might help - two-metre long Christmas crackers.

Dreaming of a social distance Christmas? Where The Trade Buys is offering these 2m Christmas crackers for just under £50 - with no jokes or gifts

At £48.50 for a pack of ten two metre crackers you'd expect at least a novelty gift and a bad joke to be included - but they're not. Instead, you have to make and fill them yourself. 

A spokesperson for the retailer Where The Trade Buys says: 'Customers would have to add their own gifts inside the cracker first then assemble it - it comes in "flat-pack" form.'

The advantage here is that you could carefully select gifts that people would want. 

The capacity of the 2m wide cracker is quite generous measuring 28cm in width, 26cm in depth and 83cm in height, so you could fit quite a few small gifts and naff jokes inside. 

However, adding your own gifts would push up the price of the cracker up even further.  

Retailer  Price (£)Number in pack 
Sainsbury's Luxury Crackers Moorlands Foliage 10
Selfridges 185 
Tesco Red Cube Crackers 12 
Waitrose Gold Snowflake Crackers 12 
Asda 12 
Morrisons 12 Red Christmas Crackers 12 
This is Money conducted a flash random comparison of Christmas Cracker prices at various major retailers. Prices correct as at 19 November, 2020 

How to make your own crackers including a 2m one

Amanda White founder of Gift Frippery, a gift wrapping workshop, says it's possible to make your own crackers - and even a two-metre size cracker- at a fraction of the cost.

Smaller crackers can use toilet roll tube and wrapping paper, with gifts placed inside, while larger crackers need bigger tubes - finding something to make them go bang may also prove tricky. 

She says: 'To make it ask the fabric shops for the tubes that they have left over from materials. 

'You could also use the tubes from wrapping paper.

'Then you would need wrapping paper to wrap around your two-metre tube and need a bit at each end plus ribbon. A three-metre roll of paper would be less than £5. 

'With a three metre roll you would be able to wrap three crackers doing it length wise.'

Amanda White founder of Gift Frippery which has run Christmas cracker workshops in the past says it's possible to make your own 2m version, as well as normal size crackers

She adds: 'If you are on a budget you could fill it up with chocolate and shredded paper that you get with your Amazon deliveries. 

'If you want to pay more, you can put things like miniature gins in them. You can buy paper hats very cheaply and get family to write jokes which I'm sure will be better.

'When it comes to the gifts inside you can make it as much or as little as you want to. It depends on your circumstances.'

If you're not keen on an over-sized cracker, there's plenty of Christmas cracker kits sold online which would set you back less than £10 for a pack of eight to 10 crackers.

Item  *PriceSource 
Material roll Freefashion/craft shops 
Christmas wrapping paper £3 (4m roll) Amazon 
Christmas tissue party hats £2.62 Amazon 
Chocolate coins £5 (5x 100g bags) Superdrug 
Total:  £10.62  
With a little creativity you can make your own 2m Christmas cracker for around a tenner. *Prices correct as at 19 November, 2020.  

Or a cardboard cut-out family 

 Where The Trade Buys also offers a wider set of seasonal products with 'sit-ees' - full size cut-outs that can join your family at the Christmas table, costing £30.60, along with £3 delivery.

Would you pay over £60 to have a cardboard nan and grandad instead of the real deal? 

The life-sized cut out version may be harder to replicate but there are plenty of competitor print companies offering cut outs at a cheaper price. 

With celebritycutouts.co.uk, for instance, you could have a cardboard version of Boris Johnson for between £12.97–£39.97 depending on whether you want the mini version of him or not. 

That is, provided, he's welcome at the Christmas dinner table. 

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