What Is O. Henry's Christmas Story "The Gift Of The Magi" About?


4 Answers

Patricia Devereux Profile
In this most-beloved of Christmas tales, a young married couple with little money independently ponders how to provide each other with a holiday gift.
The husband goes out on the snowy December city streets, looking in windows for inspiration. Finally, he spots the perfect gift: tortoise-shell combs for his wife's long, lustrous hair. But in order to buy them he must sell his watch.
Meanwhile, the wife searches for a way to get money to buy the husband his gift. Finally, she hits upon the ideal scheme: sell her long hair to a wig-maker. Thus shorn, she now happily buys him a present: a fob for his watch.
When he comes home from his shopping outing, the husband is shocked to be greeted by his wife with her hair now short. He holds out her gift -- when she unwraps the combs, she bursts into tears. Then she hand him her gift to him, and he is likewise moved by it.
The couple decides that the moral of their story is that material gifts are not as important as that which is even more precious than the frankincense, myrrh, and gold given to the Christ Child by the Three Kings (Magi) -- that gift is their love for each other.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
A poor but very devoted young couple, Jim and Della, live in a small flat in New York. As Christmas approaches, Della is upset because she longs to buy Jim a special present, but has no money. All she has is her lovely long dark hair, her pride and joy – and on Christmas Eve she cuts it off and sells it to buy Jim a fine platinum chain for his one cherished possession, a gold pocket watch.

When Jim comes home on Christmas Eve and sees Della's short hair, he looks very shocked. To cheer him up, she shows him the platinum watch-chain. Then he silently produces the gift he has bought for her – a set of tortoiseshell combs to put in her hair. In order to buy the combs, he sold his watch.

The story concludes that the young couple are both richer and wiser than the Magi who brought Jesus gifts in the Bible story.
Sajid Majeed Profile
Sajid Majeed answered
The Gift of Magi is a love story of a man and wife. Both loved each other like anything. Della, the wife, saved one dollar eighty seven cents which was not enough to buy a Christmas gift for her husband, Jim. She had long beautiful hair. He had a gold watch which he had inherited from his father. He earned eight dollars a week. He was not financially well-off.

Even a queen might have felt envious of Della's hair in spite of her jewels and gifts. Jim knew that no king had anything so valuable as his watch. Della with could not buy a gift with1.87 dollars, she hit upon an idea. She had beautiful hair which was long enough to fall below her knee. She put on her old brown coat and old brown hat. She went to a place where she could sell her hair. She got 20 dollars and flew about the shops to buy a gold chain as Christmas gift for her Jim.

She came home a bit relaxed. She was worried about the loss of hair. She prepared dinner and waited for Jim. He always kept time. He returned home
Jill  M. Hopkins Profile
Jill M. Hopkins answered
Why don't you read it, yourself.

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