Something stole, something new, something gambled, some old brew.

Yes, you recognize that fancy little ditty above, it’s from the “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, just with my take on it.

ANYWAY, to business. What is it that you stole and gambled and brewed I hear you ask with anticipation.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I brewed nothing – so all of you, bearded home brew fanatics, with your extra chewy, cheek tingling beer, this post is not for you.
But for those finger smiths in the audience, I did “stole” something.

One of my jobs at Christmas is to create the Christmas Dinner table into a work of art – napkin designs, candle displays (we always have fire in abundance), Christmas crackers (I’ll talk about them next), plant/flowers, a model train choo-choo-ing it’s way around the plates and dishes (it’s a big table).

HERE’S THE TIP, and I stole this from a dinner party I went to, thank you Carol: Under the plates (this assumes you place the plates on the table when you are laying / decorating it), place a scratcher*, only to reveal itself when some hungry diner lifts it to don it with festive food – or for those not paying attention – at the end of the feast when the dishes are cleared away. The excitement this $1 gift is worth $1000 – even if they don’t win anything.

HERE’S THE DANGER: If the said scratcher does not heap massive amounts of cash (to be retrieved from any local 7-11) on the at this point inebriated reveler, burning begins (as I mentioned, there are lots of candles around).

SECOND TIP – it’s a bonanza of giving today: Add Christmas Crackers – invented in 1847, by Tom Smith in East London. A good Christmas cracker should be brightly colored, festive looking, and have three things in them; a joke, a small knick-knack gift, and a paper crown made of brightly colored tissue paper. Crackers are fantastic. A staple of all UK households at Christmas.

I’m not going to explain the traditions behind them or the etiquette of pulling them and deciding who gets the gift, but I will mention two important items.

  • The first, the cracker should “crack” when pulled open (small amount of gunpowder, nothing to worry about it, not like it’s a Samsung phone or anything).
  • The second is the myth behind wearing the crown – it is said that if you break open a cracker and the contents reveals itself to you, you MUST wear the crown – it is said that if you don’t wear the crown, the following year you are sure to get a shit scratcher.

*Scratcher: Instant gambling game where you scratch off the surface of the little glittery card to see if you won cash.