This story, like all good fairy tales, starts with a wicked stepmother.
There's adventure, danger, a fairy godmother - and a magical Christmas ending.
So, here goes:
Once upon a time (the late 1830s) a teenage girl lived with her family in a far-away land (Germany). The girl's stepmother was so wicked, the story passed on to her descendants goes, that she gave her only the fat from the meat at dinner time, and the girl would throw the fat out the window to the dogs.
So the girl's father gave her money to pay her passage on a ship to America.