The recent death of his wife is just one of several blows endured by big-city surgeon Michael (Robert Hays), who has lost confidence in his skills and his been going through the motions only for the sake of his daughter Jilly (Ashley Gorrell). Summoned by his crusty dad Bob (Jack Palance) to come back to his home town for the first time in 20 years, Michael finds out that he is expected to take over the local hospital. None too keen on the prospect, Michael changes his mind when he is reunited with his childhood sweetheart, local veterinarian Sarah (Ann Jillian), who in the absence of anyone else is the hospital's only full time physician. As Michael weighs his future options--can he really go home again, or has he become too jaded by life in the city?--foxy Bob conspires with Jilly to bring Michael and Sarah back together again. First telecast on the CBS network, the made-for-TV I'll Be Home for Christmas originally aired December 23, 1997.