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For most potential buyers, Franklin Manor was just a run-down old house, half-buried in Adirondack snow. But to professor Butch Regent, Franklin Manor was a beacon of hope. He would buy it, renovate it, and turn it into an artists retreat. Franklin Manor would make his gray and unsatisfactory life bright and meaningful, but not without a life-and-death struggle. Nuns, tuberculosis patients, and other former residents make a Christmas return from the dead to save the house and the old man from destruction. Its a Christmas story of despair versus hope.