The villagers of Thrush Green celebrate Christmas traditionally, in a way that has hardly changed over the generations. Children eagerly hang up their stockings, families go to church together, everyone enjoys treats of the festive season. And when it snows as the carol singers make their way round the cottages on the green, it seems as if Christmas will be perfect this year. But not everything is as peaceful as it seems.Phyllida and Frank have their work cut out for them when they agree to take on the Nativity play - made all the more difficult by an outbreak of chicken pox. The indomitable Ella has lived in Thrush Green for as long as anyone can remember, but lately she has been behaving strangely. Then there are the dreadful Burwells, newcomers to Thrush Green, who cause something of a stir with their 'home improvements'. For Nelly, owner of The Fuchsia Bush tea shop, Christmas is an especially busy time, with people dropping in for much-needed refreshment, weary from all their Christmas shopping, but then she receives an unexpected letter.