Loving and giving radically

In the wonderful story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, Jim and Della Dillingham lived modestly, with only two possessions between them they really treasured. Jim owned a gold watch that had been in his family for two generations. Della‘s beautiful cascading brown hair almost touched her knees and could have been a coat by itself.

The couple wanted to exchange Christmas presents but were short of funds. Della hoped to give Jim a chain to put his watch on, and Jim wished to give Della a set of combs to put in her hair. In the end, Della sold her hair to buy a watch-chain, and Jim pawned his watch to get the set of combs. Della and Jim, wisely or unwisely, sacrificed for each other their greatest treasures.

Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use, they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is.

The story ends with the narrator comparing the pair's mutually sacrificial gifts of love with those of the biblical magi. The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts for new-born Jesus in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.