The Gift of the Magi
The story The Gift of the Magi by O Henry narrates the tale of a poor, young couple who regards their love for one another the ultimate concern in their lives and when the key moment arrives they do not falter to sacrifice their most precious assets to obtain a gift for Christmas for each other. The affectionate home they together create contrasts with the bleakness of their poverty and the jaded world outside.
Della and James Dillingham was a young couple who loved each other very much. Their love has no limits. Though the couple were poor, they were immensely proud of two of their possessions-Jim’s ancestral gold watch and Della’s beautiful long brown hair. Della had been painstakingly saving each and every penny for months to buy a Christmas present for James. Yet she was terribly depressed and dismayed she fails to acquire enough money to buy a fond gift for Jim.
When Della saw her cascading hair in the mirror, an idea occurred to her. She rushed to Madame Sofronie’s shop, sold her hair and with the twenty dollars that she got; she bought a platinum fob chain for Jim’s gold watch.
While waiting for Jim to return home, Della was a little apprehensive whether Jim would like her new look, with her adorable hair all cut off. When Jim came home Jim stared at her strangely. She told him why she had to sell her hair and what she had done with the money. Jim silently handed her a package- his Christmas present .When Della opened the package, she saw in it a set of beautiful combs of pure tortoise shell with jewelled rims- those combs which she had always yearned to possess but could never dreamt of having it. Alas! They were of no use to her now! Her gorgeous hair to use them was gone. When teary-eyed Della gave Jim the fob chain she had bought for his watch, he simply smiled. He told her that he had sold his watch to buy the combs for her.
They decided to keep both their gifts away for a while as the gifts were of no use to either of them at present.
In many ways, "Gift of the Magi" is a story about the true value of a thing. The Magi were the three wise men who had come up with the art of giving Christmas presents by bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. The lovers in the story brought gifts for each other but relinquished their precious possessions unwisely prompted by their love for each other. Even so they are the wisest among all the people who give or receive gifts. They are the Magi.