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etty thief Harold 'Stretch' Sears has served several prison sentences, and is again out on parole. He is given a job as a department store 'Santa Claus', but his cynical nature makes the job difficult. Miss Webster, who arranged the job for him, keeps trying to encourage Sears, but only succeeds in irritating him. As Sears does his best to get through the holiday season, he notices a bad-tempered boy who keeps coming to the store, arguing with him that there is no Santa Claus, and stealing small items from the store. Fearing for the boy's future, Sears feels an odd impulse to do something for the boy.

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