The Gift of the Magi is one of those charming and beautiful Christmas stories that reminds us to be thankful and charitable and to appreciate what we have during Christmas time. The story of the Gift of the Magi is set in the 1900s and is reminiscent of those times.
Gift of the Magi — O Henry Short Stories (Christmas Stories)
The story begins on Christmas Eve when a lovely husband and wife decide to buy secret gifts for each other during Christmas with very little money. Della Dillingham Young and her husband, James Dillingham Young, lived in a cheap and worn-down apartment with an electric bell that did not ring. This introduces us to a couple who does not have anything valuable but their love for each other.
However, their priced possessions included two things: James’ gold watch, which he had inherited from his father, and Della’s long lustrous hair that reached below her knees. Though they were poor, these possessions were the only two things that made them feel good about their lives.
Della was worried as she could save only $1.87, despite months of pinching pennies at the grocery and vegetable shops. She planned to buy a gift for her husband Jim (James) that conveyed her love for him and was rightly deserved by him for all of his hard work.
Della struggled to find a solution to her problem. Suddenly, she got an idea. She ran downstairs and visited a hair goods shop owned by Madame Sofronie. The woman evaluated Della’s hair and decided to buy the long locks for $20. Immediately, she decided to sell what she thought was priceless. Now, Della had $21.87 with her.
For the next two hours, Della frantically searched for a gift for Jim moving from one shop to another. At last, she found the perfect gift for Jim. It was a pure gold watch chain, the richness of which matched Jim’s quiet and valuable personality very well. The chain cost her $21. Della bought the beautiful chain and returned home with happiness and the remaining $0.87.
Though she was happy, she was also worried if Jim might not find her attractive without her hair. So, she tried to make herself as presentable as she could. She prepared dinner and waited for Jim’s return.
When Jim entered the house, he had a strange expression on his face. It was not fear, or anger, or surprise. Della could not gauge what his feelings would be for cutting her hair. So, she immediately ran to Jim and told him that she sold her hair to buy him a Christmas present.
However, Jim’s stare continued, and he said that he was shocked because of the present he bought for her and gave her the present. When Della opened the gift, she saw beautiful tortoiseshell combs for her hair. She realized the reason for his stare and cried in joy; tears flowed down her eyes. She consoled Jim saying that her hair will grow faster, and she will be able to use the combs in no time.
Della, then, gave Jim his Christmas present. She asked for his watch so that she might try the chain on it. Jim said that they should put their gifts away as they are too nice to use now. He then admitted that he had sold his watch to buy the combs for Della’s beautiful hair. Though both the gifts could not be used, they are extremely precious as they show the selfless and ardent love of Jim and Della. This showed how far they were willing to go to exhibit their love for each other.
Conclusion – Gift of the Magi
The storyteller concludes that the biblical Magi were wise and brought gifts to baby Jesus and were the first to give Christmas gifts. While Jim and Della’s sacrificial gifts of love cannot be compared to those of the wise magi, however, these gifts can be considered valuable due to the self-giving love and sacrifice they made for each other.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4
Moral of the Gift of the Magi
The Gift of the Magi is a Christmas story for kids that teaches us to be kind to one another, cherish our relationships, and be content with what we have. The Gift of the Magi exhibits powerful concepts of love, sacrifice, selflessness, true devotion, and real value.
Gift of the Magi and Christmas Stories
The Gift of the Magi is one of those Christmas stories that brings joy, happiness, and warmth that people experience during this season. Christmas stories also bring unity, peace, nostalgia, enrichment, and connection.
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