As Christmas approaches, Laura plans to curl up in her Boston apartment with her English professor husband, Richard, to await the birth of their first child. But when her cousin asks Richard to direct A Christmas Carol, Laura heads back home to unpleasant surprises. First, running a play transforms mild-mannered Richard into a backstage tyrant. Next, Seth, the play's Scrooge, is a washout as an actor. And the worst surprise of all - grimmer than the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come - Seth is brutally murdered.