join, which will then be bound by more tape, like a fishing fly —but more fiddly. Each cracker snap is therefore taking a very long time and I remain concerned that they won’t ever go bang because, when I test one, my ends fall off.
‘The secret is don’t use last year’s tape,’ advises my crafty friend, who’s an expert. I then tell her that I’ve solved the problem of sticking the ribbon, the cracker waistband, with a secret weapon. ‘I’ve bought glue dots,’ I tell her triumphantly, before reading aloud from the packet that these ‘work on speciality gift wraps and ribbons where sticky tape just will not stick’. There’s a puzzled pause. ‘As opposed to a Pritt Stick?’ she says.
She’s having a bad day, because, having volunteered to make angel wings for the Christmas service, when she collected a sack of goose feathers from the farmer, they smelt so bad, she began retching on the way home. She tried washing them in a pillowcase, but they emerged still filthy but now ragged. ‘Do you think I should gently scrub them? Or shall I try PVA and white cotton instead?’
‘What are you putting in the crackers?’ I bring her back to the craft in hand. ‘Well, it was supposed to be Lindt Christmas bears, but I ate them all last night.’
I decide not to voice my other concern, which is that, should these extended snaps, in fact, go bang, they may ignite the party popper, which was the only thing I could find in the supermarket that will fit inside.
A popper and a miniature tube of Super Glue, although now I wonder if the possible aftermath of this trio may make my sister’s concern over glitter on the hats (and therefore her house) the least of our problems.
I also worry that I ought to undo the one with the £5 note inside in case it’s one of four notes with a 5mm portrait of Jane Austen engraved on it by Graham Short and thus worth more than £20,000. Sometimes, someone else’s nice idea is another person’s new worry.
‘What are you doing?’ Zam has now found me trying to remember how to do chain stitch so that I can embroider initials on the socks that are going in the stockings and that I’m pleased to think will eradicate sock wars in 2017.
‘Why don’t you just get different coloured socks for them instead?’ he asks before adding ‘And I never found out why you are extending the snaps anyway.’
‘Because I made the hats too long,’ I explain, eyeing my last crafting disaster of the year that will, when this is printed, be in the bin. That’s it from me. Happy 2017!
‘If the extended snaps, in fact, go bang, they may ignite the party popper