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Near Christmas, 1947, seven year old Colby James' father has been laid off from the railroad that hauls coal in the West Virginia mountains near the small town of Krebbs. Colby, thought asleep, overhears his parents talking that due to his father Bill's lack of a job so near Christmas, that they might have to tell him that Santa can't find them this year due to their moving since their last Christmas. His mind obsesses with that and he doesn't hear them say that they will not do that, that one way or the other he and his sick baby sister, Lauren, will have Christmas. Colby's mind goes to work, finally Landing on the idea of drawing Santa a map from Krebbs to their new home so he can find them. Perils dot the way: getting the money for a train ticket; drawing the map; a plan for telling his mother about the trip going awry; his baby sister getting deathly ill; bullies; a surprise buying the train ticket; and, a dream come true.
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