It's December 1810, and Lady Therese Osbaldestone is looking forward to her usual Christmas with her family at Winslow Abbey, her youngest daughter Celia's home. But then a carriage rolls up and disgorges Celia's three oldest children. Their father has contracted mumps, and their mother has sent the three-Jamie, George, and Lottie-to spend this Christmas with their grandmama in Little Moseley.Therese has never had to manage small children, not even her own. She assumes the children will keep themselves amused, but quickly learns that what amuses three inquisitive, curious, and confident youngsters isn't compatible with village peace. Just when it seems she will have to set her mind to inventing something, she and the children learn that with only twelve days to go before Christmas, the village flock of geese has vanished. The children are as mystified and as curious as Therese-and she seizes on the mystery as the perfect distraction for the three children as well as herself.