Madge returns home to find her husband reading about the impending war. "If people keep reading about the war, then it will actually happen!" And lo, Madge's fears came true: the war came and Mr. Arwell became a pilot. The next thing we see, he's flying a damaged plane, "somewhere over the Channel," though he can't get any more specific than that. One of the other men he's flying with asks what he should tell an injured compatriot in the back of the plane. "Tell him we're going home for Christmas," Arwell says. He looks at a little photo of Madge and flies into clouds and darkness.
Madge wakes up in the morning with a start. A telegram on her bedside table details the loss of her husband. Later that night, her children wonder when their father will be home. Madge lies and assures them he'll meet them at their Uncle Digby's for Christmas. As the children snap a turkey wishbone, Madge stands at the window, looking up at the sky, making a wish of her own. The TARDIS races through space and time in response.
Uncle Digby's house is a huge, stony estate in the English countryside. Digby isn't there, and neither is his caretaker, Mr. Cardew. Instead, Madge and her children are greeted by the Doctor. "Who are you?" Madge asks, not recognizing him without his ass-backwards space helmet. "I'm the caretaker... usually called the Doctor... or the Caretaker!" Did he send Cardew to the movies with some money or something? He takes Madge, Cyril and sister Lily on the grand tour. He's outfitted the sitting room with motorized chairs, the kitchen with a sink tap that dispenses lemonade and a back room with panthers. Sadly, we do not get to see the panthers. He shows them Lily and Cyril's room next, of which he is quite proud, as it is full of toys and fanciful wallpaper and science doodads and hammocks that drop down from the ceiling. There's much, much more, but if I were to repeat everything the Doctor rattles off we'd be here till next Christmas. He may have missed his calling as an interstellar interior decorator. "Can you please just stop talking?" Madge asks, exasperated. She orders the children downstairs. After that, she tells the Doctor that her children's father is dead and she hasn't told them yet, because then "Christmas will always be what took him away from them." That or the Germans. Madge gets upset, then calms herself. "I don't know why I keep shouting at them," she says. "Because," says the Doctor, "every time you see them happy, you remember how sad they're going to be and it breaks your heart." Madge seems surprised that he understands so well. He suggests that maybe they should have their happiness now.