Willy Krueger, a lonely and aging widower, lives in a basement apartment with only his cat George for company. Finishing his work for the day as the custodian for the building, he ventures out on Christmas Eve to buy a tree and on the way, he imagines he is a well-dressed gentleman while peering at some fine tailoring in a shop window along the snowy street. Returning home, he falls asleep listening to an LP by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, dreaming that he is conducting them in carols of the season. Awakening to find some carollers outside his window, he beckons them to visit him offering hot chocolate, but they leave after only one song. In trimming the tree, he places upon it the mittens left behind by Clarissa, the youngest of the carolling group. Handling figures of the small nativity beneath his tree, Willy finds himself in the manger for the very first Christmas.