Old fashioned, English Victorian-style Christmas crackers
Filled with lottsa little treats.
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Things to know about ordering GillianCrackers...
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We send out an emailed notification of our holiday line up each August.

Things to know about ordering GillianCrackers...

1) What's involved in making a GillianCracker?
Every cracker we make for you is entirely handmade. We design all of the activity sheets including most of the puzzles, we print them and the (hand-cut) jokes as well. And we fold them and package them along with your pencils, erasers and paper hats. All the paper hats are hand-cut, glued, refolded, and trimmed before they are packed into cello packs. We cut all of the paper used to wrap your cracker - by hand! And all of the ribbon - thousands upon thousands of pieces every Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas time. We also print out the puzzle answers and the new "Waiting for ..." booklets. It's a lot to do and it takes us quite awhile!

2) What is 'customized' about my order?
Every order is packed to ensure optimal variety for your family. We try to vary the jokes, the candy, the colour of the hats and the variety of activity sheets - even the erasers FOR EVERY SINGLE CRACKER you order. After all, part of the fun of opening crackers is not only enjoying the contents yourself but in sharing it all and reading out your joke to everyone else sitting at your table! We usually make at least 5 differently coloured/patterened paper hats, print 5 different types of activity sheets for the Family Classics crackers (though we keep the puzzles the same on them all for fierce puzzle-solving family competition!) and usually can provide up 25 different holiday jokes. For orders over 25, we have had to begin repeating the jokes we included in your crackers. But... we are working at having a range of 50 different seasonal jokes for 2012 - for really large gatherings including staff parties.

3) Why do I need to order so early?
Each spring, I try to estimate, based on the previous holiday season, how many crackers we will need to make. Each year we make just about double the year before and that is what we plan on when ordering supplies. Many of the goods we need to make your crackers must be ordered from our suppliers, some as early as June 1st. We order the snaps from overseas in June and the chocolates from our suppliers early August (who in turn need to place their orders with the chocolate makers!). Our cracker tube suppliers require at least 2 months notice. And then there are the ornaments which take months to procure from multiple sources. Because the hats and activity packs take so long to make (remember, we are making THOUSANDS!) we need to begin making these in spring-time and need the supplies for all those to be on hand at that time - so we order in paper, pencils, cello bags, and erasers and print and cut up all the jokes and make up the activity sheets - all well in advance of the holidays!


1) For every customer to get a fresh holiday chocolate and a snap and an ornament, we need - very early on - to have a pretty clear idea of how many crackers folks wish to order from us for the season. Otherwise we run out too early - as happened this past Christmas season. We completely ran out of ornaments 2 weeks or more before Christmas.

2) We need to begin work MONTHS in advance!

3) We need to pay for the bulk of our supplies and Elf staffing hours long before we receive any money for the orders you place. For a custom, hand-made business this is a huge financial undertaking each June 1st and we depend on the early orders to ensure we can fund the seasonal start-up on time!

3) So, I ordered early but my box of crackers didn't arrive until December 24th!
Well, we truly do try to get all of the Christmas, Solstice and Hanukkah orders out the first week of Decmeber. Even with all our advance work, we can't begin filling these crackers until we are done making/shipping out the crackers for USA Thanksgiving which is a huge order time for GillianCrackers.GillianCrackers are NOT made in advance beginning in January as are the majority of commercial crackers available in the marketplace today. We do NOT make crackers which sit on the shelves for months waiting for customers to order them. Even if we were to pack them in early autumn, the chocolates, cookies etc., wouldn't be as fresh as they must to qualify for GillianCrackers. And if we are to continue to offer the widest possible variety for every order, we need to continue custom-packing every single order. We have to fill, tie off and ship thousands of crackers in less than 4 weeks.We begin by shipping to the areas furthest away from us in places like Texas, Hawaii and California, then we work on orders for the Easter Seaboard of the USA, remoter areas of Canada and Alaska. Finally we ship to more localized regions within Canada. We really do try to get all the boxes delivered, regardless of locateion, at basically the same time in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas.

4) How can I help you to deliver my box as soon as humanly possible?
1) Please make sure that your shipping address is entered wherever, whenever it is requested.
2) Please enter your destination phone number as well. (USA, UK and European shipping requires this)
3) Please type normally - put capital letters where they are required & spaces where they are required. Otherwise we have to retype everything again which not only takes more time but adds to likliehood of shipping errors.
4) Are you SURE you are requesting the proper mailing address? Please Check! Every year we have disappointed customers who have given us incorrect/stale addresses. Please make sure it is all correct, including your zip and postal codes.
5) If are travelling for the holidays, please consider having us ship the crackers ahead to your destination.

6) Order EARLY - by August, if possible.
Crackers can be ordered beginning July 1st each year.

5) What are you doing at GillianCrackers to ship more quickly for the 2012 holidays?
None of us want cliff-hangers where customers are having to run to the post office at the last moment to pick up their cracker boxes. And, we can't spare the time during the busy holiday weeks to keep checking on the progress of hundreds of boxes and answer scores of customer emails regarding the expected ETA of their orders. If 250 customers write to us 3 times, that is 750 emails we need to answer at a time when we are run off our feet! So, here is what we are trying for 2012...

1) We are switching over directly to Canada Post instead of using PayPal shipping. We feel this will give our customers more up-to-date information about whether their parcels have been shipped and offer direct tracking information. We may continue to use Paypal as a payment processor only or we may institute our own... that is yet to be determined.

2) We are going to complete the outside wrap of all the cracker tubes by mid-September if we receive enough advance orders in July/August. This will greatly enhance production and free up time in November and December. However, it also unfortunately means that we will need to determine by early summer what crackers will be available for the entire season. Only customers who order in July and August will be sure of having their colour / variety choices made available for the holidays. After that it will be a matter of "while supplies last".

5) What other changes are planned for 2012?

1) One pleasant change is to lower the cost of boxes of 5 family crackers! All crackers will be priced at $6.50 each regardless of quantity. Basically the pricing structure will remain relatively the same. We try to change our pricing only once every 4 or 5 years to account for rising costs in items such as chocolate and printing costs. Our next pricing change will likely be in 2013. We hate to do this but we have to make the business pay for the costs it incurs.

2) We know that many of you do not require 10 crackers. Some of you expect 6 or 7 people at your holiday table - not 10. We have always encouraged folks to give the extra crackers to visiting friends and relatives over the holidays. However, we do want to offer our repeat customrs customized ordering numbers. It is more expensive for us to ship 7 crackers than 5 - the cardboard box costs us more as does the additional weight for shipping and the boxes take longer for us to pack and require more "fill". We simply can't afford to offset the costs for our entire mailing list. We have decided however to offer ordering of individual cracker numbers (over a mininum of 5 crackers) but only for our customers who order by August 24th. After that the special order links we will be uploading for this purpose will disappear from our website and we will revert to the normal ordering levels of 5's, 10's, 15's etc.for the remainder of the season.

3) NEW CRACKER VARIETIES! We plan on some fun new crackers. We are considering a Techie cracker for those folks who just love their computers and i-phones and being 'plugged-in'. At the other end of the spectrum, we are consdering a truly old-fashioned cracker with images, games, songs etc from the Victorian/Edwardian eras. We will be adding music books for sale to our Christmas Handbell Cracker sections and we will continue also to link to any websites offering free handbell music for the 8, 13 and 20-note handbell sites. We will continue to develop our chocolate and charades crackers which were hugely popular this year. And we will be refreshing our Dickens line for those folks who would like to reorder them a second time. An important priority for 2012 we be to think up a little surprise for our Family Classics Crackers as we always want to keep these fun and new for you. Finally we are planning to feature some cities or events in our planning this year... so there may be a "New York" cracker, a "Toronto" Cracker or one for Montreal or Vancouver or perhaps for the Olympics...we are working on this!. Do you have any new cracker ideas for us? We try hard to incorporate our customers' ideas - that is how the charades and handbell crackers came into being! Let us know!


Why choose GillianCrackers?
Because they are FUN!

And they are the BEST!

These cheerful little treats are packed with puzzles, games, holiday jokes, chocolate, colourful patterned paper hats & other fun treats. Every order comes with carol sheets & 1 free copy of our "Waiting for Christmas" booklet filled with puzzles, recipes, faqs and crafts for all ages.

Yes, our crackers do cost a little more - but they are filled with holiday fun! Why pay money for the emply designer tubes in the marketplace today when you can buy GillianCrackers with holiday cheer for everyone in your family. We make great Gift Crackers too! GillianCrackers work great as party ice-breakers. Try having family contests to see who gets the puzzles solved first and you'll see what thousands of people all over North America have discovered -
GillianCrackers are FUN
And they are the BEST!

Pssst! Tell your friends
about GillianCrackers!



Important - Please Read.
You will be asked to agree to these terms in the shopping cart. Thank You!

USA Thanksgiving

We begin filling our thanksgiving crackers the 3rd week of October.
We begin shipping October 31st.
We do not guarantee a particular delivery date -
only that we will have your box at your preferred delivery address by November 22nd or sooner.
We appreciate your patience.
Because we want your crackers and the chocolate in them to arrive as fresh as possible
we cannot make our crackers in January and February as the mass cracker manufactureres do.
This means there is a lot of work for the Cracker Elves in the few weeks available to us!
If you are concerned about your Thanksgiving crackers reaching you in time,
send us an EMAIL and we will try to assist.

If you are travelling, consider giving us your destination as your shipping address
or let us know when you expect to leave home for the holidays.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Year Shipping

To ensure freshnesss, the filling of all
Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Dog and Cat Holiday GillianCrackers™
begins the first week of November.

We then commence our Hanukkah and Christmas Shipping Schedule:
November 15th through to December 5th for USA Orders.

Beginning December 1st through to December 21st for Canadian Orders.
Special Note: Due to a high volume of orders this season,
we are extending the USA Shipping deadlines to December 15th.

Our target is to have every parcel in our customers' homes by December 24th.
You may receive your package well before that date,

however, we do not promise to reach you any earlier than Christmas Eve day
(December 19th for Solstice Crackers)
(December 20th for Hanukkah Crackers)

Again, especially with late orders placed in November and December,
we can only promise to have your crackers to you by December 24th.

If you are travelling, consider giving us your destination as your shipping address
or let us know when you expect to leave home for the holidays.


Please remember - smaller, out of-the-way or extreme northern communities, may take longer for delivery!
For Hawaii, Alaska, NWT, Yukon, Nunavut and some areas within Labrador - please order extra early
- otherwise express shipping costs will be applied.


Please choose your state to determine your Shipping Zone for the shopping cart.


Please choose your state to determine your Shipping Zone for the shopping cart.
State Zone   Province/Territory Zone
Alaska 5   Alberta 4
Alabama 3   British Columbia 4
Arkansas 3   Manitoba 3
Arizona 4   New Brunswick 3
California 5   Nfld & Labrador 4
Colorado 4   North West Territories 5
Connecticut 1   Nova Scotia 3
District of Columbia 1   Nunavut 5
Delaware 1   Ontario 1
Florida 3   Prince Edward Island 3
Georgia 3   Quebec 2
Hawaii 5   Saskatchewan 3
Iowa 3   Yukon 5
Idaho 4      
Illinois 2      
Indiana 2      
Kansas 3      
Kentucky 2      
Louisiana 3      
Maine 2      
Maryland 1      
Massachusetts 1      
Michigan 2      
Minnesota 3      
Missouri 3      
Montana 4      
N. Carolina 2      
N. Dakota 3      
Nebraska 3      
New Hampshire 2      
New Jersey 1      
New Mexico 4      
Nevada 5      
New York 1      
Ohio 1      
Oklahoma 3      
Oregon 5      
Pennsylanvia 1      
Rhode Island 1      
South Carolina 3      
South Dakotaa 3      
Tennesee 2      
Texas 3      
Utah 4      
Vermont 1      
Virginia 2      
Washington 5      
West Virginia 1      
Wisconsin 2      
Wyoming 4      
Mississippi 3      


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