Nothing and nobody can break the spirit of the optimistic Mrs. Wiggs, not her deceased husband, who "traveled to eternity by the alcohol route," leaving his wife and five children impoverished; not her home in the Cabbage Patch, an old Louisville slum; not even the plight of her oldest son Jim, who has assumed the crippling responsibilities of head of household at the tender age of fifteen. One family tragedy, however, leaves even Mrs. Wiggs shaken. Robbed of her oldest child and at even greater pains to support the ones who remain, she turns to Lucy Olcott, a beautiful and benevolent young woman who had helped the family on the previous Christmas. Despite her wealth and comfort, Lucy, too, is beset by problems. Hiding from her sorrow by performing good deeds for Mrs. Wiggs, Lucy little suspects that her actions will also bring her happiness in the end.