Old Fashioned, Hand Wrapped
with lottsa little treats.

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For Immediate Release:
August 31st, 2010

<< GillianCrackers FAQ's

:: GillianCrackers are created in the old-style British Victorian tradition, filled with and activity sheet full of puzzles packed with a puzzle pencil, small Christmas tree decoration, quality chocolate, carols, holiday joke, paper hat, holiday bingo game and packaged with a really neat snapper. Each Christmas order is shipped with a copy of the "Waiting for Christmas" activity booklet.

:: NORTH AMERICAN MADE! EVERY cracker is hand wrapped and filled on-site in Muskoka at the cracker workshop, not imported from Asia or manufactured with machines.

:: GillianCrackers are available in two sizes:

  • PREMIUM SIZED for family gatherings and gift giving:
    6 inch long treat tubes with an overall size of 11 inches width
  • CATERER SIZED for hotels, inns, reunions, holiday luncheoons, employee dinners,
    3 1/2 inch long treat tubes with an overall size of 8 inches width.

  • - Holiday Crackers are available also for Christmas (Family, Dickens Christmas, Children, Puzzle Lovers, Ornament Keepsake, Cats & Dogs), Hanukkah, New Year, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, Dogs and Cats, AND year-round for weddings, birthdays, Easter, Valentines Day, golfing occasions, cottages, corporate profiling, fund raising and mothers and father's days.

    - Dickens Christmas Crackers: Activity sheets featuring Dickens. Figgy Pudding Truffles.
    These crackers are in keeping with our commitment to build our business focusing on the Victorian roots and traditions of holiday crackers.
    - Puzzle Lovers' Crackers:
    Has an activity page filled with puzzles. Also includes pencil & sharpener.
    - HoHoHo Hanukkahs: These crackers combine both Christmas & Hanukkah treats for folks who celebrate both.
    - Ornament Keepsake Crackers: Crackers with artisan made pewter Christmas Tree Ornaments. Definitely not your usual cracker!
    - Children's Crackers: Fun little treats just for kids - with a kid-sized hat, a tiny bag of jelly bellies, a paper finger puppet, kid puzzles and games and a brief message from the cracker elves - with the child's name printed in!
    - Family Christmas Crackers: These are the traditional crackers for which GillianCrackers is well-known. The puzzles, jokes, tree decorations and chocolate appeal across the board to all family members!
    - Solstice Crackers:
    For those who prefer to celebrate the season by marking the arrival of the Winter Solistice. Included in this cracker are brightly coloured candles to bring light into the long night and activity sheets themed with solstice and winter puzzles and faqs.
    - Cats & Dogs: We never forget that pets are a huge part of family holiday celebrations. We have special crackers just for them complete with cat nip, toy mice, dog biscuits and for the human companions there are pet puzzles and dog and cat paper finger puppets!. Because pets can be pretty excited at holiday time, we continue to make the decision not to include snaps in their crackers.

    - Artisanal Chocolates by Chocolate Clare (Toronto).
    - Christmas Tree Ornaments by Muskoka Pewter (Bracebridge).

    Crackers are most often opened at the dinner table before the meal begins. The crackers are pulled by their snappers or holding the cracker ends. They provide a wonderful means of setting a light festive atmosphere. Some people prefer to open them on Christmas Eve or morning and wear their paper hats throughout Christmas Day. Victorians would often open them at table after the end of the holiday meal. They were filled with all sorts of games, candies, puzzles - even science experiments. During those years, Christmas crackers were a family focal point and source of great fun, surprise and celebration. Often Christmas trees would be decorated with the crackers before they were used on Christmas Day.



    1) To renew and spread the holiday cracker spirit in keeping with the Victorian tradition of treats, surprises and entertaining fun through continued product research & development.
    2) To gradually increase, through education and publicity, the public's understanding of the content and traditions of the original Victorian-era Christmas crackers.

    Several years ago I went shopping for Christmas crackers at a better known, quality retail store. Looking over the selection, I settled on a box with pretty papers and a festive look. However, after reading the contents of the box, I was horrified to see they included a pen knife!  For Christmas, can you believe it?. Looking more closely at other boxes I began to see that for the most part they were filled with plastic gizmos and un-festive junk, not at all in keeping with the original idea of treats, mottoes, puzzles and little gifts.  

    I immediately resolved to stop buying mass produced crackers and begin making them myself. I wanted my crackers to be filled with treats like the ones my Mom used to put in the stocking she lay beside my bed each Christmas eve. In it were pieces of candy, nuts and tiny wrapped gifts/surprises. Many people shared my thoughts about how tired and empty the modern day cracker has become. In many cases it is nothing more than a 'decorator' tube filled with plastic gizmos!  I received mounting requests from people asking me to make my crackers for their families and friends. After only one year I was already making hundreds of crackers for my downtown card shop. Continuing to expand the concept every year, I began to create these gentle old fashioned crackers for my feline friends, including in them, toy mice, catnip and tiny party hats!! Production has grown into the thousands every year and the repertoire now includes designs for Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, birthdays, weddings and valentines. Summer crackers feature special treats for golfing enthusiasts and cottagers.

    I continue each year to brainstorm about further developing the cracker line in keeping with the Victorian roots of the tradition when they were a lively source of holiday fun, family entertainment and included the all-important element of surprise. Victorian crackers were an event; an entertainment that people looked forward to with anticipation and that is what I want my customers to expect from GillianCrackers!

    Gillian McCrostie first began producing crackers in 1995.>>


    For more information or to request large dpi file images for media use, please contact:

    Gillian McCrostie:

    Fax: 801 720-5775
    Telephone: 705 645-3460

    A little hearing challenged so Email works best - or fax! Thanks!


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