Joanie, a struggling college student, inherits a Christmas tree from her great-aunt, who was very wealthy. Joanie would have preferred money to pay for tuition and books. The tree is ratty and ugly. Joanie and her mama decide to put the tree up for Christmas this year, and then throw it away. The tree will not let Joanie, her mama, or her mama’s boyfriend string new lights on it. Every time they try, the lights explode. Ornaments sit in the same box the tree was in. When they decorate the tree with these ornaments, it lights up and becomes beautiful. Joanie discovers that if she focuses on an ornament, she is taken to another time and place.