Go behind the scenes of Christmas: Inside the Christmas Factory

Tinsel, mince pies, and bon-bons. Made by elves in Santa’s workshop in the North Pole, right? Not quite. Meet the real Christmas elves.

Christmas wouldn't really be Christmas without the tree, tinsel, feasts, and festive traditions like cracking Christmas crackers.

In a special Christmas edition of investigative series Inside the Factory, Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey go behind the scenes to see how Christmas comes together all around the globe. 

To spark your Yuletide inquisitiveness, here's how just three festive things are made, on an epic scale. 


These days, tinsel is made from metalised PVC, with a coat of aluminum for shine. It's been around since 1610, and while it was originally made from silver - around the time of the industrial revolution, factories begun to produce the Christmas tree garland in cheaper aluminum. The factory Cherry visits produces 300,000 metres of the sparkly stuff each day. 

Mince Pies

Dating back to 13th century Britain, mince pies can be polarising. Some people love the tiny fruit tart, with its dense buttery shortbread pastry. Others, however, can't stand the festive treat. Regardless, we consume them by the millions come Christmas time. Factory-made mince pies feature 33 ingredients - and one particular factory in the UK makes approximately three million mince pies each day in the lead up to December 25. 


Bon-bons, or Christmas crackers, were supposedly invented by a British cake maker named Tom Smith around 1847. They were designed to resemble an oversized lolly wrapper and the 'bang' or 'crack' sound comes from a tiny amount of highly explosive silver fulminate.

Watch Inside the Christmas Factory on Lifestyle Food. 

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.