The film is about skeptical journalist Anna Walls, who is assigned to chronicle the 50th anniversary of Kris Kringle, a Santa Claus in the town of Mistletoe. As her involvement in the town grows, she begins to open up to the enchantment of Christmas and some other wonders of the season.
After 50 years, Mistletoe's Santa Claus is hanging up his hat and Walls, a magazine writer, is assigned to find out what makes this Santa tick. Having tragically lost her husband on Christmas Eve, Anna has become a nonbeliever. But with the help of Mark Stafford, a former cutthroat divorce lawyer turned compassionate bed and breakfast owner, she finds there is something magical about this particular Santa.
Through various conversations with the townspeople, Anna quickly discovers how much Kris Kringle means to the small town, and how much Christmas means to Kris Kringle. And having lost his wife years before in an automobile accident on the week of Christmas, he honors his wife by being Santa Claus all year long; therefore, he is the perfect person to show Anna the true meaning of Christmas! He brings so much joy and happiness to the town that they changed the name from Summerland to Mistletoe and renamed all the local shops and streets. Through his benevolence and altruism, he brings Christmas magic to everyone. All the while Mark recaptures more than just Anna's Christmas spirit!