The cracker is a much-loved Christmas pastime, usually known for their terrible jokes and either utterly useless or surprisingly handy gifts inside (plastic fish or sewing kit anyone?), but for Christmas 2021, crackers are stepping up their game.
Not only do they go with a bang, but you can now get Christmas crackers full of wonderful delights such as beauty products, Christmas tipples, gift vouchers, and even Swarovski crystals!
Luxury Christmas crackers don’t just have to be used in the traditional way on the dinner table but some can be given as gifts or even used as stocking fillers, that’s how good the contents are! We've even included a Christmas cracker for your dog, too!
- Best Christmas gifts: inspirational present ideas for everyone
Here, we round up some of the best luxury Christmas crackers of 2021, but get them while you can as they’re sure to be super popular.
The best Christmas crackers you can buy
This set of six Nancy & Betty crackers from Liberty London are handmade in England and inspired by British woodland, with a pheasant design and classic red bows. Each includes a hat and joke, of course, and a miniature gift. These include an eggcup, grater, honey drip, whisk, golf tees, and jam. All gifts are made from wood or metal, so there's so wasteful plastic to throw away after dinner.
This set of silver crackers from John Lewis will bring some style and sophistication to your Christmas dinner table, complete with matching silver ribbons and a set of metal gifts with no plastic in sight. Gifts inside these crackers include a photo holder, shoehorn, trolley keyring, bottle opener, fish & chip fork, and a mirror. There's also the cracker staples of a hat, snap and a joke.
Anyone who loves a good pamper session would love a Jo Malone cracker. This set of six has a beautiful geometric design that would look special on any table, but the real joy is the contents, because there's a covetable cologne or bath and body essential in each. It's a great way to spoil friends and family, as well as try the brand's luxurious products.
If you're looking for a no-expense-spared box of handmade Christmas crackers, then Harrods (naturally) has you covered. This set is called the Dress Circle and is a beautiful collection of six shimmering crackers with luxurious red bows. Prizes include a tape measure, magnifying glass and a mini harmonica.
Have you heard the one about the penguin? Maybe. It's fair to say that most cracker jokes tend to be terrible, but M&S' World's Funniest* Crackers are made to be hilarious, with jokes from the likes of Keith Lemon, Dawn French and Omid Djalili. As well as being seriously funny and including a hat and 12 fun photo props, the crackers help a great cause. In short, they're a cracking idea.
If you want to go all-out glam this Christmas, then these Swarovski Crystal Christmas crackers are sure to impress your guests on the big day. They come as a set of six and include one item of jewellery in each cracker including earrings, cufflinks, charms and more. They come packaged in an equally as sparkly cracker case and tied with bows for a classic finish. Amazon currently has these on sale for under £70, so grab them while you can if you like a bargain!
Again, not your average cracker, but this would make a crack-ing centrepiece for your dining table this Christmas. Hotel Chocolat has produced the Rather Large Christmas Cracker, boasting 40 assorted chocolates including truffles, caramels and more, plus 12 paper hats – that’s certainly something to keep the family happy after Christmas lunch. The giant cracker still works just like your classic cracker, so you can pull and snap to reveal the treats with a bang.
Not your average cracker, this set of six by Purdey really are from the top drawer. They look beautiful and contain a set of genuinely useful (and in some cases, valuable) prizes. These include a mini pewter hip flask, a mug, and even a £50 Purdey gift voucher. But yes, we know, there is no getting away from that rather steep price tag.
We think these smart crackers from Nancy & Betty strike a good balance between value and out-and-out luxury. The set of six are beautifully made with a cute gingerbread house design and alternating colours. The prizes inside are also some of the least likely to be thrown away as you clear the table, as they include a miniature grater, a honey drizzler, wild flower seeds, wool, jam and a yoyo.
This set of six adorable crackers is exclusively available at the Selfridges department store. Each 100% paper cracker has a cute woollen Christmas character attached, including a snow man, angel, and of course Father Christmas himself. Inside, prizes include useful kitchen miniature, like a grater (useful for garlic, we'll have you know), whisk, wooden spoon, baking and pasta moulds, and a tea strainer.
It's somewhat predictable, but crackers filled with alcohol are likely to go down a storm after the Christmas lunch. This set of six crackers by The Perfect Measure feature a smart, modern design and each houses a boozy miniature. Drinks include Mahiki rum liqueur, Old Pulteney whisky and Whitley Neill gin. Just try to resist pulling these crackers until after your meal .
These traditionally designed luxury crackers from Fortnum & Mason contain the usual hat and joke, of course, but also a gift from the luxury London department store. Gifts include an F&M branded champagne bottle stopper, a tea-scented candle, a corkscrew and bottle opener, and a silver plated tea pot-shaped infuser.
The problem with crackers, even expensive luxury ones, is that there's no choice over what's inside, and some gifts will inevitably get swept into the bin with the remains of your Christmas dinner.
To fix this, how about a set of elegant festive crackers that you will yourself? These fill-your-own crackers from John Lewis look like crackers, pull apart like crackers, and even contain a snap, but you get to choose the gift, hat and the joke. Or perhaps even skip the joke entirely...
Twist open each cracker to find a Christmas treat. You'll discover four different types of body wash to help leave skin feeling clean and soft, and helping you smell and look great for Christmas. Fragrances include red berry & cedar, London tea, cassis & rose, and lavender & English chamomile. All of the products in these crackers are vegan, cruelty-free and enriched with glycerin.
These Christmas crackers are described as "Not just a cracker but an explosion of Ridley's entertainment and fun for all the family". Do we need to add any more? Each cracker contains a hat, snap, motto and magic trick gift designed to amuse guests for hours and bring out everyone's silly side. Tricks include exploding dice, magic cup, wonderful dice, three balls return, magic cards, and rope cut.
These crackers contain a selection of wooden gifts and are 99% plastic-free (only the bristles on the brush.. but Love Tiki are working on this!). The gifts are even pretty useful and your guest will want to take them home! Each cracker contains an eco gift, eco hat, snap and joke. Gifts may vary as all crackers are handpicked.
When it comes to spreading Christmas cheer, why stop at humans? This Wooftastic Christmas cracker gets your furry friend involved in the festivities as well. Handcrafted in Dorset by Celebration Crackers, it’s filled with a festive puppy hat (ideal for festive Instagram pics), a tail-waggingly fun toy and a ‘bang’ motto card.