He and she were moving through their first holiday season as a couple, fraught with all the tensions of gifts and family and financial stress. They decided to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol together--a tradition that had been in his family since he was a kid. After a late night visit to Rockefeller Center and the Rockettes, they went their separate ways that year to spend Christmas with their own families, but not before he left her with a parting gift--a voicemail of him singing, which was exactly what she has asked for.
Our couple had moved in together and were attempting to host a holiday party. However, the weather had other plans and a snow storm prevented anyone from showing up. They decided to put on their PJs and read the book together instead, but when a stranded pizza man showed up at their door they got to share the book with a guest anyway (and eat some pizza)!
We get introduced to Kyle, his old childhood friend. He and Kyle agree to read the book together until we come to discover that Kyle's new girlfriend, who shows up to spend the evening them, is in fact, her. After an awkward night in which the three of them try to read the book together, our couple ends up together, outside in the cold, performing the end of the novel from memory. Even though they aren't together anymore, they end the night with an agreement to read it again next Christmas.
This year, the story takes place in the literacy center where she teaches elementary school students the ins and outs of classic literature. In light of budget cuts, she calls him in to help as she prepares to perform A Christmas Carol for her students. Despite his initial reluctance, a surprise encounter from a child in an angel costume inspires him to overcome his stage fright and he commits to help her out. That's when they decide for the very first time to read the book together every year no matter what.