Awaiting the Christmas visit of her teenage son, Donnie, Sue Barker is torn between motherly love and the fear of a disruption in the life that she has built in his absence. Having been deserted by the boy's father before his birth, Sue was forced to support herself, leaving Donnie to a childhood of orphan homes and ultimately a term at the penal farm. Now the head lingerie buyer for a Chicago department store, Sue has a small apartment and a lover, Bernie Slovenk. When Donnie announces that he will not have to go back to the farm if she will give him a home, the crisis is broached. The inescapable showdown comes on Christmas Eve when the couple from next door joins the others for a party. Rachel Lambert makes her Eclipse directorial debut.