John and Madison Carmichael's success in their careers has come at a high price at home: they are on the brink of divorce. To soften the blow for their two children, they decide to spend one final Christmas together as a family. Responding to a travel brochure, they set off to "Celebrate Christmas Past" in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with a group of historical re-enactors.
Tensions worsen when their car breaks down, but a horse-drawn carriage arrives and delivers them to the home of Judge Andrew Norton and family, where their Victorian Christmas begins. With none of the comforts or distractions of contemporary life, John and Madison rediscover each other and the love they once felt. But upon their return to "modern civilization," the Carmichaels learn that the nineteenth-century house has been empty and boarded up for more than thirty-five years. Could it be that a miracle from "Christmas Past" has brought their family together again?