We've given a New World twist to the old British tradition of Christmas crackers. At the meal's start, each guest grabs one end of his own cracker and one end of his neighbor's. On the count of three, everyone yanks. Out pour the party favors -- and, in our version, a "gratitude form" to be filled out and read aloud as part of the festivities.
To make this corn cracker, create kernels by snipping a 1/2-inch fringe along one edge of a 4-foot length of yellow crepe paper streamer (folding the streamer a few times makes this go quicker). Wrap the streamer around the cardboard tube.
Fold a 10- by 12-inch piece of green tissue paper as shown, then roll the tissue around the tube and tie one end with a green ribbon.
Fill the cracker with favors, a small writing implement, and an"I'm thankful for:" form, then tie the other end with a ribbon.