If you can make haloes from recycled tinsel and package your crackers with recycled paper, then you can devote most of your cracker budget to the trinkets. Here are some points to bear in mind:
- Crackers are random: some people will get something they like and some people won’t but that gamble is part of the fun.
- Nevertheless, you should make it possible that any individual could get a trinket they like so make sure you have all the bases covered. (Don’t make every trinket some kind of hair accessory if your bald grandfather will be part of the party.)
- Divide your trinket budget by the number of crackers you’ll be making to get the average trinket price and then remind yourself what “average” means: if you can find some brilliant bargain trinkets, you can spend a little more money on some of the other trinkets (but only after you’ve made the savings).
Christmas Day 1970: Church was always early on Christmas morning so we were soon forced to change our normal summer outfits for our good clothes which seemed an insult on such a special day: frills and collars and fabrics we were supposed to keep clean didn’t mix well with crawling under the couch to get the little shoe that had got away when Barbie fell off the Meccano crane, and seeing if you could communicate via walkie-talkie if you were behind the chook shed and your cousin was up the mulberry tree.
 Encourage swapping to mitigate disappointment.
 I filled a cracker with water bomb balloons once and the recipient, seven year old Emma, loved it but the recipients of the actual bombs (her parents, aunts and uncles) were less enthusiastic.
 To give the ladies time to get the turkeys on when they got home.
 Answer: you can on Christmas morning when the batteries are fresh, but you can’t on Boxing Day afternoon after you’ve been talking non-stop for two days.