In the quiet, rural town of Canaan, Texas, a clash between two classmates -- one, a tough, white farm boy, and the other, a bright, black aspiring writer -- spins into an unlikely friendship. When the clever arrangement their families devise to teach DJ and Rodney a lesson seems hopeless, their cooperative effort to heal a wounded puppy helps them move past an unsettled battle. Not surprisingly, the truce that follows becomes an amiable kinship. Before long, a tragic circumstance serves to bind the boys even more tightly. And through the trying times that engulf them, largely the weighty shadow of racism cast by one bitter neighbor, the boys grow up like brothers.
But can life in Canaan lived under the shadow of racism ever really deliver the milk and honey of the Promised Land? It is amidst the magic of a Christmas they'll never forget that the boys learn a lesson about family, hope, and love. And they will know for the rest of their lives, when times are hard, that there will always be Christmas in Canaan.