6 famous Christmas stories

Where would Christmas be today without Ebenezer Scrooge or the Nutcracker? Here are six ways in which literature has given Christmas its groove.

1. 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,' by E.T.A. Hoffman

Paul Kolnik/HONS/AP
Hoffman's story is now a beloved ballet, here performed by the New York City Ballet.

Did you know that the now-classic holiday ballet started as a short story by E.T.A. Hoffman? The ballet stays true to the basic outlines of the story which was published by Hoffman in 1816 and tells the tale of a girl (named Marie, however, not Clara) who saves her magical nutcracker from a mouse king and is then taken to a land of sweets by the nutcracker-turned-prince. However, Hoffman's story has a lot more in between the battle and the happily-ever-after, including a story from Marie's godfather about the origin of the nutcracker, the disbelief of Marie's family over her story of a battle with mice, and threats made by the Mouse King to Marie.

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