The quick fanfare announcing a feature piece lilted over the WWN airwaves, followed by the familiar voice of Horace Knickerbocker.
"Ciaran McIrney remembers his first Cribbage's Wizarding Cracker well."
A high-pitched male voice came over the network.
"I was two years old, and my older sisters were squabbling over the last cracker. I somehow got hold of one end when Marcia let go and sort of fell on it as it opened — my face was blue from the smoke for a month after. Mum was angry at the time, but brings the piccies out now whenever I have a bird over. Still have the Screaming Yo-yo I got from it, though."
The smooth voice of the narrator took up the thread.
"McIrney is far from the only tiny wizard or witch whose Christmas memories involve that distinctive blue smoke that for many is as necessary to the season as snow, mistletoe floating overhead, and plum pudding.
"The Cribbage family is now in its seventeenth generation of cracker manufacturing, and the tradition seems to be in no danger whatsover of dying out. The WWN visited their large factory and attached store front a few blocks off Diagon Alley in November, right as the business kicked into high seasonal gear."
The quiet background music shifted to the sounds of a factory, with occasional shouts from workers and the distinctive squeak of the live mice the crackers featured.
A querulous old witch began to speak.
"Enoch Cribbage founded the place back in, oh, who the h*** knows any more. Family legend says he got the dosh to start this thing up from a rich old wizard whom Enoch made smile with his little jokes. I think he won the cash in a poker game, meself, just ask the portrait after he's had a few pints.
"In any case, it's been in the family for years and will stay that way if I have anything to do with it. My grandson, William, says he wants to be a dancer, but I know he'll be back. There's no future in prancing about a stage. There's cash in crackers!"
Knickerbocker's voice took over and the music returned.
"Henrietta Cribbage, the matriarch of the clan, oversees the factory and advises the shoppers. A well-known and opinionated fixture of London's wizarding community, she's guided the company through several decades of modernization Under her careful hand, you can be sure that a wizarding tradion for over two centuries of Christmases will continue to be enjoyed at feasts for decades more.
"Wishing you a happy Christmas and the best of New Years, this is Horace Knickerbocker on behalf of the Wizarding Wireless Network. Thank you for letting us into your homes.
"Please remember WWN is always interested in the comments and concerns of our listeners. Feel free to contact us by owl or floo. We appreciate the interest shown and will respond as soon as possible."