An illustration of Christmas characters around a table
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The surprising stories behind your favourite children’s Christmas classics

The Polar Express, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol; all have origin stories you probably didn't expect. Here we dive deeper into some of the best-known festive tales of all time.

There are plenty of traditions around Christmas-time - the tree, the food, the songs - but there is nothing like ritualistically re-reading the same story to conjure a comforting feeling of cosiness at a cold time of year. And if you’ve started that tradition in childhood, then those titles are steeped in nostalgia, too. 

But have you ever thought about how these festive tales came to be? Why the author was so moved to think about a Christmas story, or whether personal experience coloured their creativity? Here, we share the fascinating origin stories behind some of our favourite children’s Christmas classics. 

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