Irving Berlin's songs highlight this musical about a singer and dancer competing for a young entertainer at a country inn.
On Christmas Eve singer Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) expects to retire with Lila Dixon (Virginia Dale), but she hasn't told him she wants to go on dancing with Ted Hanover (Fred Astaire). Danny Reed (Walter Abel) and Ted tell Jim that Lila is working with Ted, and Jim moves to the country.
A year later Jim tells Ted and Danny he is turning his farm into an inn. Danny buys flowers from Linda Mason (Marjorie Reynolds) and sends her to sing for Jim. She and Jim watch the show as Ted dances with Lila. At the Holiday Inn Linda finds Jim. He sings "White Christmas" for her. Jim and Linda open on New Year's Eve at the Inn, singing "Happy Holidays." Danny learns that Lila married a Texas millionaire. Drunk Ted arrives at the Inn and bumps into Linda. They dance until Ted collapses. Danny is happy that Ted found a new partner. Ted and Danny look for Linda. Jim puts black face on her, hires her, and they are engaged. Jim sings "Abraham, Abraham" on Lincoln's birthday and keeps Danny and Ted from finding Linda. On Valentine's Day Jim sings "Be Careful, It's My Heart" to Linda, and Ted dances with her. Linda becomes Ted's partner. On Washington's birthday Ted sings "I Gotta Say I Love You, 'Cause I Can't Tell a Lie." Linda tells Ted that she promised to be in Jim's holiday shows and marry him. Ted says he loves her. Jim sings "Easter Parade," and Ted asks to be in Jim's shows.
Jim tells Ted that Lila is back. Danny tells Ted that Hollywood agents are coming, but Jim gets Gus to delay Linda and calls Lila. Gus with Linda drives the car into a river, and she gets wet. Jim sings "Song of Freedom" on July 4. Linda gets a ride with Lila and learns she was kept away. Linda drives the car into the river. Ted tap dances alone with firecrackers. Linda blames Jim and calls him selfish for not letting her decide. Jim declines a picture deal but lets them use the idea. In Hollywood Ted dances with Linda. On Thanksgiving Jim plays a record of "Plenty to Be Thankful For," and Mamie (Louise Beavers) tells him to go after Linda. On Christmas Eve Ted is worried about his wedding as Jim walks in. Danny locks Jim in a closet; but he escapes and goes to the movie set. Linda sings "White Christmas" and hears Jim; Ted and Danny find them embracing. In the final scene Lila joins dancing Ted.
This patriotic musical celebrates holidays with singing,
dancing, and a romantic story. Jim believes that less work and
country living can mean more happiness.