“The Christmas Tree Man”


Bibliographic Information (best version for telling): 

Rylant, Cynthia, “The Christmas Tree Man,” In Children of Christmas: Stories for the Season, New York: Orchard Books, 1987.


Ethnic Origin:  United States


Running Time: 7-8 minutes


Power Center(s):

·         Garnet Ash’s solitude, which often feels like loneliness

§  I believe this to be one of the most important feelings in the story.

·         Garnet Ash’s contentment 

§  While it can be considered opposed to his feelings of loneliness, I want the listener to have mixed feelings about Garnet Ash’s life.  Dependant on the listener’s current situation or mood, he/she can take away the loneliness Garnet Ash feels, or the contentedness he has for the life he has chosen.



·         Garnet Ash

·         The trees

·         The customers




·         Garnet alone with his house and trees

·         Garnet getting ready for customers

·         Garnet surrounded by customers

·         Garnet waving goodbye

·         Garnet in his fields alone on Christmas Eve



Garnet Ash didn’t expect to live alone, but that is how his life has turned out.  When his parents die suddenly, he finds himself without a wife, children, or friends.  He raises Christmas trees like they were his children, and lives a very solitary life until each December, when he shares his trees with families.  After a busy, vivacious month in which he is surrounded by people comes Christmas Eve, when once again, he is alone.



Rhymes/Special Phrases/"Flavor":

The flavor I hope to capture in this telling is a feeling of quietness and peacefulness.  I think of people who live alone and picture very little noise and a sort of calmness.  I’ll tell my story in a low, quiet, calm voice.  I hope to entrance my listeners with atmosphere rather than energy.




Audience (why is this story appropriate for the audience? developmental characteristics?):

I chose this story for an adult audience, particularly keeping in mind this time of year.  For students, it is hectic with end-of-term assignments, and for most all adults it is full of holiday preparations.  This story causes me to slow down and relax.  It also makes me cherish and be grateful for the relationships that I have.  I hope that others will take these feelings away with them.



Bibliographic information on other versions/variants (at least two)


None.  Literary tale.