7 classic Christmas tales to curl up with this festive season

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Credit: Shutterstock.com/ ArtFamily

Whether you’re reading alone by the fire, or to the children to help them fall asleep while they battle the excitement of Christmas day, new toys and surprises, here are seven classic Christmas stories to enjoy.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The ultimate Christmas classic, Dickens’ novella was released in December of 1843 and is constantly being remade on stage and screen. Return to the original this Christmas to see where all the adaptations stem from. Read of the miserable Ebenezer Scrooge and follow his transformational journey with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A Hoffmann

Written in 1816, The Nutcracker is probably now better known as a ballet from Tchaikovsky. The story tells the tale of Marie Stahlbaum and her favourite Christmas toy – the Nutcracker – which comes alive and battles the Mouse King.

A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore

Better known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, this famous poem is a must read at this time of year. Published in 1823 anonymously, the poem was eventually attributed to Clement Clarke Moore in 1837, though some believe that it was written by Henry Livingston Jr.. Set on Christmas eve, the poem details a father watching St.Nicholas/Santa Claus as he delivers presents.

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson

Published in December of 1844, this fairy tale is about a fir tree ready to grow up and unable to appreciate the present moment. If you haven’t read the story before – warning – it, like most original fairy tales, does not have the happiest of endings.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Written by the author of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this children’s book from 1902 presents an origin story for Santa Claus, detailing how he came to be the great figure.

Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

This novella, from 1947, is based on the story the author originally wrote for the script of the popular film with the same name, where a girl tries to prove a Santa in a Macy’s store is the real Mr. Claus.

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One of the short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about Sherlock Holmes, this tale is the perfect Christmas mystery. First published in 1892, the story is set in London at Christmastime and involves a goose and a famous jewel…