Christmas Tree, The (television) Two-hour television movie, aired on ABC on December 22, 1996. Richard Reilly, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center, in searching for the perfect Christmas tree for the Center, locates one at the Brush Creek convent, but there he has a run-in with Sister Anthony, the convent’s gardener, who has an unusual attachment to the tree and refuses to surrender it. The Sister and Reilly eventually forge a friendship, and she gives up the tree, but Reilly has to make a special trip to persuade her to come to New York for the unveiling. Directed by Sally Field, in her directorial debut. Stars Andrew McCarthy (Richard Reilly), Julie Harris (Sister Anthony), Trini Alvarado (Beth). Inspired by Julie Salamon’s novel of the same name.