Our friend and neighbor, Catarina Lundgren Aström, wrote the definitive book on Swedish Christmas traditions and she’s allowed us to share one of the traditional holiday crafts from her book.  Christmas Crackers are easy to make and great for a snowy winter afternoon with family and friends.

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To make the Christmas Cracker pictured above:


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  • Take at least two different colors of tissue paper cut in 16 inch squares and place them on top of one another
  • Cut strips in the paper about 8 inches long and 1/4 inch wide
  • Fold down the uncut edge forming a lip that is then glued down to hold the papers together
  • It this point you can place small candies, money, or small toys on the paper
  • Then roll the paper and glue the last edge to hold into place
  • Give the cracker a little shake to mix up the cut strips. Decorate with a cut out from an old Christmas card or wrapping paper, attaching a loop of thread to the back of the cutout for hanging


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To make a double version of the cracker:


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  • Take at least two squares of tissue paper measuring 18 x 18 inches and place them on top of one another
  • Cut strips about 6 inches long and 1/4 inch in width along both sides
  • Fold over the straight edges to hold the papers together
  • At this point you can place in small treats and gifts
  • Roll up the tissue paper into a tube
  • Tie a ribbon around one end and across to the other for handing the cracker
  • Decorate with cut-outs


For more traditional and easy-to-follow recipes and crafts from the Swedish traditions, check out Carol’s book, Swedish Christmas in America.  Click here

by Josh and Brent

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Janet A. Casciato

I use to make these for my kids to give out to their class at Christmas time in grade school. I saved my paper towel tubes over the entire year, cut each tube in half and placed treats inside a half. I wrapped them as you illustrate with measured sheets of wrapping paper that I had pre-cut to the proper size and cut the ends to fringe. They were always a big hit.