Cracker Box History:
1970: THE CRACKER BOX INC. began in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as a craft shop, carrying many things: miniatures, dried flowers, doll house furniture/fixtures, braids, beads, filigrees, finished Christmas ornaments, specially designed wrapping papers, felt and materials by the yard, and lots of other "stuff".and, AT that TIME, of course, only a few original Christmas ornament KITS.
1974: PLAYTHINGS MAGAZINE presented THE CRACKER BOX with its bronze plaque FIRST AWARD as the finest retail store of its kind in America.
1975: Introduced the first Christmas Ornament kits through mail order, now expanded to over 100 -- all original and copyrighted, in such national magazines as: FAMILY CIRCLE, WOMAN'S DAY, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, CRAFTS & THINGS, SOUTHERN LIVING, DECORATIVE CRAFTS, and the first issue of READER'SDIGEST that had a mail order section, as well as major newspapers nationwide.
1982: Mrs. O'Connor in Canada, purchased and made up one of our original designs called "CROWN PRINCE", sent it to Queen Elizabeth, who gave it to the Princess of Wales, Diana, for baby Prince William's first Christmas. Lady Diana sent a thank you note to Mrs. O'Connor, who graciously forwarded the letter to us, which we proudly display. "Crown Prince" is still in the line.
1985: THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE heard that one of our customers, Fern Ingrum in Virginia, who was housebound, made beautiful Christmas ornaments. They visited her, chose over 2 dozen of ones she had made from THE CRACKER BOX kits, to go on the Smithsonian tree. According to Sam and Janice Salmon, she only gave them up when she was told, "thousands of people from all over the world will NOW see them. She wept a little, and then said goodbye to her 'friends'".
1990: The three largest producers of 'catalogs of catalogs' began featuring THE CRACKER BOX ornament kits, from which thousands of customers took the opportunity to be able to enjoy "traveling" with Paul & Walter, since most of their designs are inspired by the their trips, and over these 35 years, the collection was expanded to 223 original Christmas ornament kits. They design 16 new ones a year and retire 16 each year.
1999-December: About 20 CRACKER BOX ornaments, made by Carol Juban, who owns a restaurant in Louisiana, were featured on the COVER of The Baton Rouge House and Home magazine.
2000: The Cracker Box enters the 20th century and has a website created to introduce their beauties to the worldwide web: crackerboxkits.com.
2002: Charles Blackburn, in Maryland, was contacted by Victorian Homes Magazine for his elegant stained glass work, but upon their arrival in his home, the editors apparently became quite dazzled by the many Cracker Box Christmas ornaments he had made, and these gems became the center of the decorated Christmas tree on the cover of the magazine, and four of them were featured on page 55, including two perennial favorites: "MADAME BUTTERFLY" and "REGENCY".
2003: The Cracker Box, from time to time, goes back into its archives, and sometimes is able to re-kit some of the most beloved ornaments for our customers to make, who may have missed out, on a "special order" basis. Some of the requests for these "Golden Oldies" go back to ornaments that were retired as early as the 1970s.
2004: To our surprise, in settling an estate, a lady was cleaning out her aunt's closet and found a Cracker Box kit from 1978, which originally sold for $5.75, and decided to offer it on e-bay. The KIT sold for $320.00. Amazing!
2005: We are entering our 35th year and the tradition of making CRACKER BOX ornaments is now into the THIRD generation of many families, which may be why February is the biggest month of the year for us. The week between Christmas and the New Year is next, because we only pass on price increases on January 1st, never during the year. All orders postmarked or received by e-mail by December 31st are honored in that year's prices.
2007: More surprising news: "EMERALD SNOW", which was retired 8 years ago, was offered on E-bay in KIT form by a customer's estate, and sold for $495.00. THE KIT!!!!!
2007: The computer age has sent The Cracker Box all around the world with the touch of a few keys on a keyboard. Over 37 years we have retired over 1500 ornaments but get request for many of the as "GOLDEN OLDIES", which many of our customers have never seen since some go go back to the early 70's and 80's. We have recently added a new page to our website showing some of these. This page will change from time to time showing others.
2007: Holy COW!!!In the mail today we get a copy of the November Lehigh Valley Holiday Issue and there we are with a 3/4 page display showing our ornaments, especially "ORANGE SORBET".
2009: Catalog #14 with 68 colorful pages is now available. This one contains over 400 ornaments for you to drool over – many current ones, as well as many "GOLDEN OLDIES".
2010: A new and exciting addition to the website: VIDEO CLIPS! Each new design added to the line now has a video clip providing you a 360-degree view of the ornament. You always wondered what was on the "other side" – now you can see for yourself! Also, we have added some new ball color options to the line.
2012: IT’S OUR BIRTHDAY!!! What can we say? For our 40th anniversary year, a spectacular ornament, "40 YEARS OF LUV", was introduced and only available during this special year. We celebrated with a cruise, which brought a group of Ball-o-Holics together for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that none of us will EVER forget. It was one of the most amazing highlights of the year!