The Elves' Best Story
by Chief Elf Gillian

I get asked time and again, "How did you start making Christmas Crackers"? The shorter answer is: About 20 years ago I couldn't find any commercial ones I liked in the marketplace so, being an artisan by profession, I started making my own.

Operating a small card shop in Toronto at the time, I made a first test batch of 111 crackers for my customers. They were all gone in just one weekend.

Christmas Crackers had been a must in our family when I was a child; a long and cherished tradition. So I started experimenting with varieties and occasions - adding birthdays and then the popular dog and cat crackers and then, well, as these things go, one thing led to another ...

Eventually I closed the shop and  moved up north to moose cottage country for a quieter, gentler life.  Sitting each day at my big kitchen table, piles of paper and fun stuff everywhere, I continued on, experimenting with how best to make the paper hats and figuring out just what should go into the crackers.

Living in the middle of nowhere at that time, I decided to start selling online. That first season of cyber sales - 18 years ago - netted 22 orders - mailed all over the USA and Canada. I still remember my friend, Wray, driving me to the tiny local hamlet post office, with 22  boxes all carefully wrapped in white and tied with string,  and the real joy I felt in sending those first orders off. Long story to short, that was the beginning of the cracker folly, now known as Elves' Best Christmas Crackers.

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