For a fifth consecutive December, a heartbroken Noel returns to New York City to work the night shift at a sidewalk Christmas tree lot. Devoid of any holiday spirit, he struggles to stay awake during the long, chilly nights in his trailer, while the daytime traffic keeps him from getting any real rest. As he slowly spirals into despair, he comes to the aid of a mysterious young woman in the park. Her warming presence, matched with some colorful customers, helps rescue him from self-destruction. With his first feature, writer/director Charles Poekel crafts the ideal Christmas story for cold-blooded cynics tired of the disingenuous nature of the season. Centered on Kentucker Audley’s quietly emotional lead performance, Poekel applies a realistic approach to Noel’s lonesome search for hope and companionship during the holiday, highlighted by cinematographer Sean Price Williams’s rich photography and a haunting seasonal score.