Preteen siblings from a broken marriage live with their mother, Denise, in a rural town called Three Oaks in Michigan. Ryan, the oldest, wants to go live with their father in Chicago. This confuses shy Charlie, the youngest, who is also the butt of bigger school kids' often mean pranks. Then he finds a reindeer on his way home from school, which he believes to be Santa's reindeer Prancer’s son, also called Prancer, which he tries to hide at home. Ryan's help bonds him and Charlie again. Alas, when Prancer gets out, evil vice-principal Jim is bitten and wants him put down. Charlie runs away with his protégé. Denise struggles, but her brother’s old friend, handyman Tom, comes to Charlie's rescue.