The Gift of the Magi
"The Gift of the Magi" is a short story, about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for…
Why read it?
2 authors picked The Gift of the Magi as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This story shines a spotlight on selfless love. I cried buckets when I read this as a child. I also wondered if I’d ever be willing to cut my hair, as Della did, to raise the money to buy Jim that watch chain. I’m still not sure I would. The story beautifully articulates the parameters of selfless love. I’ve always been fascinated by this theme.
O. Henry is known for his surprise endings and this book is a beautiful tale of a poor young couple who sacrifice their most prized possessions in order to give a gift to each other. Della cuts her glorious hair to buy a watch chain for Jim, and Jim sells his watch to buy combs for Della’s hair. But instead of a sad story, this one ends with the lovely point that they each love selflessly, and can save their gifts for later.
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