Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Christmas Cracker Hats / Cracker Crowns - by the thousands!

Christmas cracker paper 'crown' hats from GillianCrackers
Thousands of holiday paper hats
waiting to be cello-packed with Activity packs.

Every holiday season thousands and thousands of paper hats (some people know them better as "crowns") are handmade for our Christmas crackers - each one involving myriad steps to complete.

The hats are cut down from 20 x 30" pieces of decorative tissue, folded several times before cutting out the hat shapes with a long, sharp utility knife. Each strip is then unfolded, glued, dried, refolded and then finally trimmed. It takes 4-6 full work weeks each year to make enough hats just for the Thanksgiving and holiday season. I also make them for birthdays, weddings, Easter, Valentines, Halloween and a host of other occasions.

It may be a l-o-n-g job but it is also a soothing one! The repeating rhythm gives me a little chance to think about other jobs - what supplies need sourcing, what needs to be added to the activity sheets, how to tweak the advertising campaign. During the winter and early spring, I start saving up old movies and TV series on my  PVR and play them back on the small desk TV as I cut, fold and glue away. I go through the entire West Wing series (one of my all-time favourite TV shows at least once each season while cracker-making!). While working I often imagine folks putting the little paper hats on their heads and how soon it will be before they fall off again! I imagine the kids giggling and the older folks remembering past Christmases and I can smell the turkey and cranberry sauce. This isn't just sales schmaltz - I really do feel all these wonderful things and it's all the better because some of my customers have been with me so long that I can see individual faces and connect the hats with their family members - including all the cats and dogs. And to think I get paid to do this!  :)

Cheers Everyone
from your Chief Cracker Elf,

Christmas cracker paper 'crown' hats from GillianCrackers

Christmas cracker paper 'crown' hats from GillianCrackers
Christmas & Solstice

Green cracker paper 'crown' hat decorated with trees from GillianCrackers

Thanksgiving cracker paper 'crown' hats from GillianCrackers

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