Everything you need to have a beautiful morning, sleepyhead.

Daily Lit: The Gift of the Magi

on December 21, 2011

Love is the greatest gift of all, as two young people find out in O. Henry’s beloved 1906 story, The Gift of the Magi. A newlywed couple, Jim and Della Dellingham, have barely enough money to cover their basic expenses. Although life is difficult, their deep commitment to one another sustains them as they face their daily struggles. Christmas is coming, as the story opens, and it doesn’t seem like there will be any money for presents. And yet, Jim and Della are determined to express their love for each other at this special time. Each knows exactly what to get the other—the only trouble is figuring out how to pay for the gifts. Both husband and wife are willing to make any sacrifice, if only they can bring happiness or pleasure to each other. At last, when Christmas morning arrives, two presents are waiting to be opened. As Jim and Della unwrap their gifts, they are both in for a surprise that will warm even the coldest of hearts.

“One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times …”
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