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Della and Jim were married just a year.

The Gift of the Magi

They had very little money and their place was poor. But what they lacked in fancy things, they made up for with love. The very next day was Christmas. Turning around, she saw her reflection in the mirror.


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Stepping up to the mirror, she stared at her reflection. Then all at once, Della knew what she must do. She ran down the street to a shop where wigs were made.

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Della stepped in the shop and took off her cloak. Down fell her long, thick hair.

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But what should she get her husband? The one thing Jim loved best in all the world was his golden pocket watch.

The Gift of the Magi Storybook Read Aloud

Sometimes, when Jim did not think anyone could see, he took out that golden watch, turned it over, and rubbed it with care. Della knew this because she saw him do it. Then Della saw the perfect gift- a gold chain for his pocket watch! That night when Jim came home, Della rushed up to give him the gift she had bought.

Then, before she could give Jim her gift, he handed his wife a small box. Della untied the ribbon and opened it. Inside were two beautiful hair combs! They were the very same ones she had mooned over many times in the store windows, but they cost far too much money. Now they were the gift her dear husband had given her.

True Meaning of Christmas in The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry :: essays research papers

Then, Della handed Jim her box. Henry traits in abundance.

Since it was first published, it's buried itself deep in popular culture. It's been retold and repackaged in countless stories, magazine columns, TV specials, musicals, movies, parodies, you name it. It's also one of those classic "Christmas stories" that people usually read during the holidays. But even if you're familiar with one or more of the many imitations — whether it's the Sesame Street holiday special or The Simpsons — it's worth checking out the original. Henry's a master storyteller. Have you ever loved someone and wanted to find him or her just the perfect present?

Our bet is you have. Could be your mom, could be your significant other. And once you're in that gift-giving frame of mind, you're in the situation of Della, the main character from "The Gift of the Magi. You'll probably also face the same questions Della did. What is a perfect gift?

And how much money, time, etc. You might even be lead to some surprisingly large questions.

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What really matters, and what's really valuable? For a short, simple, and delightful way of assuring yourself that "all you need is love," this story's hard to beat. Read it to get a major case of the warm and fuzzies. Though it might also make you think more carefully about just what "love" means. Besides all that, to be honest, you've probably encountered this story somewhere even if you didn't know it.

You might have seen it filtered through Sesame Street which lodged it forever in your child subconscious , or you might have seen it recently parodied while watching The Simpsons.