I received this email from my sister in London this morning and thought it's worth sharing since the global economy is getting bad each day.
THE Queen has ordered a festive crackdown to acknowledge the credit crunch— starting with her Christmas CRACKERS.
The frugal monarch is so determined the Royal Family is not seen as extravagant as the nation tightens its belts that she has axed posh gifts from inside the party favourites.
She has also put a £50 LIMIT on all family presents, ordered staff to RE-USE wrapping and told Sandringham chefs to serve up LEFTOVERS from the royal Christmas feast.
In past years, the family's hand-made crackers— or creckers as they would probably say in their posh accents—have contained items like Montblanc gold cuff-links and expensive lighters.
But Royal warrant holder Tom Smith, which has made crackers for the monarch for 100 years, has been ordered to use cheaper gifts this year.
A royal source said: "The directive has come from the top that the family must in tune with the rest of the country.
"She is aware that extravagance would not be welcomed at this time."
Each family member at the Christmas day lunch gets a cracker, meaning about 16 are made every year. The Queen has also urged grandsons William and Harry to keep their winter holidays as "low- key" as possible.
• THE Royals will gather as usual for Christmas at the Queen's Norfolk estate.
• They will open their presents on Christmas Eve —a German tradition— around a 20ft Christmas tree in Sandringham's White Drawing Room.
• They will then retire to dress for dinner—reconvening later for cocktails.
• On Christmas Day they will awake to stockings, stuffed with small gifts and fruit at the foot of their beds, before attending a morning church service.
• They then enjoy Christmas dinner at 1pm before settling down to watch the Queen's Christmas Day speech on the telly.