A Christmas story. Shame, promises, and secrets in a border town in Poland. Iwonka, who's 15 and blood simple, has a baby, and her mother Halina has promised her recently-dead husband that she'll learn who the child's father is and have a christening by Christmas. Halina badgers Iwonka who identifies various putative fathers, each of whom proves not to be the one. As we come closer to Iwonka's secret, two men who liked Halina when she was young come to her aid: Wladek, who is her husband's brother, and Matuszek, a somewhat comic former cyclist whose career ended when he ran into a bus. Soldiers are everywhere, as is the cold. Will the baby find a father?