Instead of going South with his family and other duck friends, Donald stays behind with Mickey and the rest of his non-bird/duck friends to spend his first ever Christmas. During his stay, however, Donald soon starts to get sick from the cold weather while trying to enjoy the snow and the fun times with his friends. When Mickey and the others soon discovered out about his sickness, they must get him quickly South to the rest of ducks immediately to restore him back to his health before he dies of hypothermia.
The special begins on Christmas Eve with Mickey Mouse singing a song with a different voice (at first until a minute later) while the whole gang is setting up for Christmas and Donald Duck observes the festivities around him.
Unfortunately, Donald has to go south for the winter. He tries to make excuses and pleads to Daisy that Donald has never had a Christmas. But Daisy says it's too cold and is worried about him, so Mickey and his friends then introduce Christmas to the ducks and tells them his backstory of long ago. Then Mickey has another thought that Donald wouldn't really appreciate the snow. Daisy takes Donald in the car and says goodbye to everyone.
While Daisy drives Donald to the south, Donald finds a present that reads "WE WISH YOU WERE HERE". Donald then flies out of the car to spend Christmas with the gang once they pass the big bridge and the big billboard that reads "XMAS IS AWESOME!", much to Daisy's annoyance and sarcastic feelings. At first, Daisy urges Donald to come back for the sake of his own health, only to sarcastically remark "He'll be back" once he's gone.
Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are gloomy with the ducks gone. Suddenly, Donald bursts into Mickey's house and everyone is so happy that Donald is staying for Christmas as Donald jumped into Mickey in his arms and hugs him. But in the excitement, Minnie considered about Donald being here in the winter but Donald is sure he'll survive, so Mickey claims this to be the best Christmas ever.
Meanwhile, in the south, Daisy feels a bit gloomy that Donald isn't with her. Soon, Donald's family consisting of Scrooge McDuck, the triplet nephews, Huey Dewy and Louie, and Ludwig von Drake visit Daisy. After she tells them about Donald's absences, the Professor says that if Donald stays in the cold, he can risk death. Everyone gasps, but Daisy says, "The moment the temperature drops ten degrees, he'll come running with his tail tucked between his legs," very sarcastically. Everyone believes in Daisy and claims to have the best migration ever in the meantime.
Back up north, Donald, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy are setting up for Christmas, and Mickey has a big list of all the things that they're going to do until Christmas morning! So the whole gang (excluding Daisy) does everything on the list and no one realizes that Donald is starting to get sick as his feathers fall off. He catches a very bizarre cold and is risking death. As they sing carols, Donald's mouth falls off of his face and Donald pushes it back on, feeling very outlandish. With everything else on the list done, Christmas morning was left.
Meanwhile down south, Daisy, Scrooge McDuck, Professor Von Drake, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are in a bathtub and are feeling a bit gloomy that Donald isn't there with them and unable to have fun. That is until they hear Donald's laugh. That makes everyone happy because they think it was Donald coming to see them, until they realize it was just Gus Goose operating a blender that was mimicking Donald’s laugh while blending a tropical smoothie. Daisy gets frustrated and decides to call Donald and see if he is okay.
Back up north, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy are preparing to make Christmas Morning great for Donald, but Donald is in the bathroom, trying to get himself in shape to make sure his friends don't find out about his condition. Minnie calls on Donald, giving him paper role color in peppermint then Donald comes out and tells her that he is doing great, but the whole gang has found out about Donald's antics and Goofy is shocked that Donald looks like he's about to die, so he offers him a cup of cocoa but it is so hot that he goes outside to cool down, only to freeze again. Mickey and the whole gang are a bit worried and confused about Donald's issue. Then Donald receives a call from Daisy and hears her lover sounding worse. Knowing his condition, Daisy tells the ducks they're about to go north to rescue Donald. Mickey and the gang see that Donald's antics are getting worse, so they must get him back south at once, but Donald refuses to go south because he's waiting to see Christmas morning and runs away, looking for more Christmas not wanting it to be taken away from him.
While Donald looks for more Christmas, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto look for him. Donald is now on the roof of a barn and falls off the roof, and that is when Mickey and the gang notice that Donald is almost closer to his fate.
The whole gang takes him back inside in a bed, and Mickey prays for a miracle to make Donald reach the South to save his life. All hope still seens lost until Santa arrives, getting himself stuck in the chimney. Mickey and the gang steal his sleigh in order to fly south faster. During the journey, Minnie tells Mickey that Donald is getting worse and that he is going to die in seconds anytime now if they don't make down south in time, so Mickey presses a button that makes the sleigh go into hyperspeed.
The duck family are soon on their way to get Donald. Prepared for the cold weather, Daisy is really determined to save him, saying "And when we get him......I'm gonna kill him!" Suddenly, before they could leave, they soon see Santa's sleigh flying at 10,000 MPH and crashes in town, destroying almost everything in the process. Mickey triumphs and Daisy is surprised to see her friends until she asked where Donald is. Now in fear, everyone looks around for Donald. Then as everyone searches in the wreckage, Goofy finds a roasted duck meal and mistakes it for Donald being burned in the sleigh speed ("Even in death, he smells delicious!") he says. Everyone is horrified and saddened by Donald's death, but suddenly they see someone emerging from the bathtub the duck family were in: it is Donald and he is alive and restored back to normal health much to Donald's friends and family’s joy. Goofy finds out that the roasted duck he thought was Donald is actually an alive one that sunbathed in the raw. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Scrooge have a good laugh over it until they were stopped by a furious Daisy. Daisy gets angry at Donald for scaring her to death as she slaps him but quickly drops all her anger and suddenly becomes happy because she missed Donald as she joyously smooches her boyfriend in happiness. Donald, now fully recovered and restored back to normal health, is happy to back with Daisy again too. All of a sudden, the happiness was soon short lived and turns to sadness because he realizes that he missed Christmas morning. Mickey and others felt sorry and saddened for the duck because of how he wanted to experience Christmas so much but had no choice to go south to save him. Still, they all were happy that he is alive and safe.
Then Santa Claus comes in and gets cross at Mickey and the gang when they took his sleigh and even more when it burns up. Mickey awkwardly begs him his forgiveness, explaining to Santa they had to in order to save Donald. They also reveal Donald's desperation to have his very first Christmas. After having a near death experience with both the cold Winter and the snow, Donald sadly finally accepts the fact that it's not possible for ducks to have Christmas as he and Mickey nearly start to cry. After hearing this, Santa softens up and laughs at their predicament and explains they don't need winter or snow to have Christmas. Santa tells them that it's not where you have Christmas but actually how you have it that's really important! Even if there isn't any winter or snow in the south, anyone can have it anyway they like as long as they share joy with the ones they truly love and carry Christmas with them everywhere inside their hearts. Donald, his friends, family and the other ducks were happy and delighted about this now that ducks can celebrate Christmas as well, but they were depressed again when Mickey points out all the damages they made from the sleigh crash. Santa, on the other hand, says he can fix it with his magic.
After using some "Christmas magic" to make everything right again, all the ducks including Donald and his family, along with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto (who was turned into an actual reindeer briefly), end up having a wonderful Christmas on the beach with all the decorations, the food and the gifts they severed. As the Sensational Six along with Donald's family and Santa relax under a Christmas tree with a star on top, Mickey asks Donald if this is the very first Christmas he ever had he thought it would be. Donald admits that although it wasn't the best Christmas he expected and hoped for to be, he says that it's better than he imagined it would be, which pleasures Mickey's delight and joy as the two friends, along with the rest of gang, enjoy a relaxing Christmas beach vacation, and the special ends with the words: Merry Christmas!
- Mickey Mouse
- Donald Duck
- Minnie Mouse
- Daisy Duck
- Scrooge McDuck
- Huey, Dewey, and Louie
- Ludwig Von Drake
- Gus Goose
- Walt Disney (possible cameo)
- Bambi (cameo)
- Thumper (cameo)
- Mickey's family (cameo)
- Mickey's father
- Mickey's mother
- Uncle Albert
- Aunt Victoria
- Cousin Alister
- The Twins
- Grandpa Joe
- Chris Diamantopoulos - Mickey Mouse, Gus Goose, Additional Voices
- Tony Anselmo - Donald Duck
- Bill Farmer - Goofy, Pluto, Additional Voices
- Russi Taylor - Minnie Mouse, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Additional Voices
- Tress MacNeille - Daisy Duck
- John Kassir - Scrooge McDuck
- Corey Burton - Ludwig Von Drake
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Santa Claus, Additional Voices
- Paul Rudish
- Dave Wasson
- At 21 minutes long, this is the longest episode of the series to date.
- The majority of Mickey's relatives are all wearing Edwardian-era clothing (a la Mary Poppins and Peter Pan), and all their photos were taken in a large house whose corridors and wallpaper mirror those that could have been found in the Darlings' house in the latter film.
- This marks the first time Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig Von Drake have interacted in animation since "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
- When Ludwig Von Drake says that the winter conditions can be fatal to Donald, he explains the details by showing an image of Jacques de Vaucanson's automation Digesting Duck.
- The horses in this special are modeled after the ones from the "Once Upon a Wintertime" segment of Melody Time.
- The toy soldiers Mickey and Donald dance with are modeled after the ones from Babes in Toyland.
- In the cold open for this special, Mickey emulates legendary crooner Bing Crosby.
- In Mickey's flashback, "the twins" are modeled after the Grady Twins from Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining.
- In Mickey's flashback, "Sherman" is shown with a record album. This may be a homage to Disney composers, the Sherman Brothers.
- In Mickey's flashback, "Uncle Albert and Aunt Victoria" could be named after Queen Victoria and her husband Albert, Prince Consort.
- When a sick and insane Donald leaves the house looking for more Christmas, he dons a makeshift cape made out of a rug and Christmas lights, which looks similar to the one Donald wore in his portrayal of The Mouse King from the Mickey Mouse Works cartoon "The Nutcracker".
- From this special onward, John Kassir took over as Scrooge McDuck's voice in this series, since the character's previous voice actor Alan Young died earlier in May 2016.
- Despite this episode saying that ducks can't survive in cold weather, Donald and his relatives have been shown to survive in cold weather on numerous occasions both before and after (including within this very series).
- This is the last short to be aired in 2016.
- Kassir, John (December 2016). "No, just the Christmas special..thx" (Tweet). Twitter. Retrieved on December 12, 2016.