Handmade Christmas wreaths used to be a cottage industry in the United States. City dwellers would order them every year to add a touch of the forest to their holiday decorating. Farmers living hand to mouth would make and sell the wreaths every December in order to afford a Christmas of their own. The trade disappeared in the 1970s due to the increasing popularity of imitation evergreen, minimum wage laws, and new fire codes.
The Holly Wreath Man evokes this lost craft along with the lost true meaning of Christmas. The story centers on Jeff Henderson, a frenetic executive who is separated from his wife and is struggling to co-parent two children. When his kids run away, he ends up back on the holly farm where he spent his childhood with his mother and grandfather. An injury and a subsequent dream transport him back to the days of helping his family and community make holly wreaths. A snowstorm, runaway children, and his past and present relationships-including a troubled one with his own son-all play a part in this moving tale of rediscovering what is truly important in life.
The Holly Wreath Man has proven so popular that it is being made into a television movie. AMUSE, the television/movie development arm of Andrews McMeel Universal, has partnered with Chris/Rose Productions for it's development.
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Christopher Scanlan is a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and director of the National Writers Workshops. For two decades he was an award-winning feature writer for the St. Petersburg Times, a national correspondent for Knight-Ridder Newspapers, and a reporter for the Providence Journal. Christopher produces Chip on Your Shoulder, a writing advice column on Poynter's Web site (http://www.poynter.org/shoulder). His articles, fiction writing, and essays have appeared in numerous media outlets.
Katharine Fair is an award-winning advertising copywriter and a freelance writer.
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