It's Christmas Eve in Mayberry and in the spirit of the season, Andy decides to empty the jail and give the "students" a Christmas vacation. No sooner is the last inmate out the door when cranky, old Ben Weaver arrives - dragging in Sam Muggins and his jug of homemade whiskey. Demanding that Andy do his duty (or else he'll report him), Ben insists that Sam be locked up and stay locked up through the holidays - not only messing up poor Sam's Christmas, but Barney's as well (somebody has to guard the prisoner).
Not to be denied a great Christmas party, Andy convinces everybody to move the festivities to the jail, inviting Sam's wife and two children as well (by "arresting" them). Of course, this doesn't set too well with old Ben but since Andy has deputized all parties involved, there's not much he can do about it. Then, surrounded by all this joy and good cheer, the Christmas spirit starts to get the better of Ben. However, rather than admit it, he schemes to get thrown in jail himself so he can be part of the party too! After his first couple of attempts fail, Andy figures Ben out and gives him his wish - by arresting him. Ben shows up at the courthouse, suitcase in hand, ready to serve his sentence. But then, he opens the suitcase and begins handing out gifts for everyone - and a Merry Christmas is had by all, including the old scrooge himself!