Successful children's book author Joe Peterson (Ross Partridge) attempts to beat a bad case of writer's block by spending Christmas in Wisconsin, and discovers that a little winter chill might be just the ticket to recapturing his creativity. Most Christmases, you might find Joe soaking up the sun on Venice Beach. But this year, the best-selling scribe just isn't feeling like himself. When Joe confesses to his best pal JP (Michael Chernus) that his imagination has simply stalled out, JP suggests that a few weeks in the Midwest may be just the thing to reawaken his muse. Upon arriving in the wintery Wisconsin town, Joe finds the cheerfulness of the quirky locals slightly grating. Later, when Joe strikes up a friendship with amiable Axel Anderson (Barry Corbin), things quickly start to look up. And though Axel's granddaughter Sif (Katie Aselton) quickly takes a shine to Joe as well, her father (Tony Shalhoub), the local sheriff, makes it crystal clear that he doesn't very much care for the newcomer. In an effort to recharge his creative batteries and ingratiate himself to the standoffish sheriff, Joe begins taking part in such small town traditions as singing with the church choir and taking a chilly Christmas Day dip in Lake Michigan. Inspired by his invigorating new adventures, the author quickly learns that the best way to beat the blues and live life to the fullest is to simply get out of his comfort zone and embrace the thrill of new experiences.