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Forget Lapland, London is the real home of Christmas

Posted at 6:15 pm, December 27, 2011 in Arts & Entertainment

 Christmas crackersYou may think that Christmas traditions come from far and wide, but many have been born in our own fair city.

Home of the Christmas card, Elm Row, NW3
Sir Henry Cole, the brains behind the 1851 Great Exhibition, apparently also introduced the idea of Christmas cards to the masses.

Turkey Time, Ham Yard, W1
In 1852, celebrity chef Alexis Soyer laid on Christmas dinner for 22,000 poor Londoners in this shabby yard. Try that for Christmas spirit.

Festive locations, Snowman House, Abbey Road, NW6
Although this street is best known for the Beatles album cover image, it is home to this festive icy block, named after a local mayor. Rudolph Road is just round the corner too.

Norwegian wood, Trafalgar Square, W1
The capital’s most famous tradition is the Norwegian tree placed in Trafalgar Square each year.

Carol composer’s pad, 30 Torrington Place, WC1
There is a plaque on this terrace house for Christina Rossetti, composer of carol ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’.

Panto Provenance, Portugal Street, WC2
The Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre staged the earliest panto in 1716

Birth of the cracker, Finsbury Square, EC2
Tom Smith invented Christmas crackers in a shop just north of this square.

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