It may only be November 5, and you might not have started thinking about the Christmas season, but Nicki Defeo has already made 535 Christmas crackers.
“I made 300 adult crackers and 235 kids crackers,” Defoe says.
The endeavour spanned several months. Defoe has been collecting toilet rolls since last Christmas. Each cracker requires the roll to be stuffed, a cracker placed through it, and for it to be wrapped in seasonal paper.
“Steve from Pharmasave donated the wrapping paper,” says Defoe. “People and shops from around town saved their rolls for me. Roberta’s Tanning Salon gave me a lot.”
As for the treats inside? Defoe bought them over the course of completing her Christmas cracker project. “Each kid’s cracker has a toy, a tissue hat and a sucker,” explains Defoe. “Each adult cracker has a dollar scratch ticket, a bundle of five positive quotes as well as two candies and a tissue hat.”
Why the quotes? “I battle depression, and Christmas is a time for family and being with loved ones,” says Defoe honestly. “It can be upsetting for some people. I use positive quotes to keep me going.”
The crackers will be on the tables at the Community Christmas Dinner, a free event put on by a team of volunteers. Attended by residents of every demographic, last year Defoe and her family went. “I saw crackers on the table, and my family has a tradition of making crackers at Christmas. Since I knew how and I love doing crafty things, I told myself I was going to volunteer and make 500 of them for the dinner this year,” says Defoe.
“It makes me happy. I love making people smile and seeing them happy.”