Professor Evan Farnsworth is a widower who works tirelessly at a prestigious boarding school in Maine, dedicating all his time to helping his students believe in themselves. Accepting a job to teach the students left behind during Christmas vacation, including talented scholarship student Juliet, nerdy outcast Albert and privileged bad boy Drew, Farnsworth quickly faces a challenge when Drew gets into trouble. Upset his wealthy parents ditched him for a Paris skiing vacation, he takes his anger out on the neighboring town’s ancient Wishing Tree, a bare tree decorated with handwritten notes containing the townspeople’s greatest holiday wishes. A much loved tradition, it doubles as a fundraiser for needy families, depending on donations from eager wish-makers. Drew's troublemaking eventually threatens Farnsworth's job, but with the help of the town and the special Wishing Tree, Farnsworth discovers that anything is possible.