In the United Kingdom, and most of the Commonwealth countries these little wrapped bits of toilet roll are pretty popular. My family since living in Britain like to buy them to bring back some of the nostalgia of living over there.
At Christmas these “crackers” are used to decorate the tree. On Christmas day a they are pulled down and pulled open. They have small cap like pieces of cardboard which pop when you open it. Or they are supposed to.
The crackers generally contain little plastic crap toys, a joke or motto, and a little paper crown. Basically they are as good as the money you put into them.
The cracker was invented in 1847 by Tom Smith who thought the sound of crackling from his fire would make a great sound to incorporate in his candies. His invention sells like hot cakes in the Christmas period in many wide varieties.
Edit: to add a pic of the tree with the crackers in the branches, and a cracker crown for Ardis. Btw this tree is our first on return from Britain.