It's beginning to look a lot like an American Christmas: unpleasant relatives, miserable travel, a slobbering dog-and one "harmless American of Irish origins," Jack Flanigan, who is reluctantly falling in love with a young Russian woman studying at Harvard.
She's spending Christmas alone in a foreign country, so he invites the dark-eyed beauty home to Chicago for the holiday. Even though it isn't Christmas in the Russian Orthodox calendar, she accepts!
What happens when she gets to Chicago and caught in the maelstrom of commercialized Yuletide? Enough to say, there's a tree, and a feast, and midnight Mass, and a gaggle of contentious Flanigans of all ages-who have the merriest Christmas ever-and nothing will ever be quite the same for any of them.
Especially for Jack.