Chicago area HS janitor’s book turned into Hallmark Christmas movie

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FLOSSMOOR, Ill. — By day, Rikk Dunlap is a maintenance worker at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. When he’s not working at the school, however, he’s writing novels, including one that’s been turned into a Christmas movie for Hallmark titled “Christmas Under the Stars.”

The movie is based on Dunlap’s book called “The Christmas Tree Lot,” which was inspired by an actual Christmas tree lot in Richton Park, Illinois.

“I just found it to be kind of enchanting,” Dunlap said of the Richton Park lot. “The trailer is what jumped out at me first because it just screams of like an old style Christmas tree lot.”

The Christmas tree lot in Richton Park, Illinois.

Dunlap’s book hasn’t been published yet, but he said his agent was able to get the story in front of Hallmark and they bought it.

“Christmas Under the Stars” premieres at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 as part of the Hallmark Channel’s 10th Anniversary Countdown to Christmas series.

Check out Dunlap’s full interview with WGN Morning News in the player above.


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