It’s Christmas Eve, 20 years to the day that Ethan Holt and Joyce Holt née Hollander met when they were stuck together in an elevator on the 18th floor for four hours in the office building where he worked and still works as a Project Manager for Bellingham Developments. While Ethan loves history teacher Joyce and their two mid-teen adopted children, biological siblings Colin and Trisha, he isn’t fully invested in their lives in focusing on “his” problems, the pull within him more pronounced as Joyce, and Colin soon heading off to college, wants to go back to school herself in pursuing what was her original career goal to be a lawyer, something that Ethan dismisses. What Ethan laments is not having gotten ahead in the company in being “the good guy” as opposed to Vice-President Sean Doyle who, having started out at the same time in the company as Ethan, does a fraction of the work in cutting corners but has steadily moved up the ladder with his cutthroat attitude in focusing solely on the bottom line with no regard to the negative affects on the people with whom he deals. As Ethan contemplates complying to a request by Sean to buy-out by whatever means the sole holdout stalling a development project, this request to get Sean out of a lie to President Rona Bellingham, success in this task which may secure his promotion to the executive ranks on a recommendation by Sean to Rona, Ethan pours his heart out to a train-station Santa, wishing that on that day 20 years ago that he got on the elevator with Sean to make a meeting with Rona that led to Sean’s promotion instead of getting on the elevator with Joyce. “Santa” grants Ethan his wish as he awakens on December 1st of this year to find himself now co-partner of the company with Sean in Rona having retired. While he has all the money and authority he has wanted, Ethan, in this alternate life, has done so Sean’s way. He is also not only not married to Joyce, which means the two of them not having adopted Colin and Trisha, but that Joyce, now a crusading lawyer, is fighting him on one of the company’s development projects. Ethan learns from Santa that he has until Christmas to figure out what he wants and how to achieve it, if this new life which would mean losing any memory of his past life forever.
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