A poor, motherless girl sells matches to earn money to support herself and her father. On this day she hasn't sold a single match and her oversize shoes are stolen. She suffers in the snow and cold. She lights a match for a bit of warmth and sees an image of a sumptuous meal, a Christmas celebration, her mother, and her grandmother. She longs to be with them. The story is adapted from an 1845 tale by Hans Christian Andersen.