The Gift of the Magi
I realized the other day that I’ve never read some of the most “classic” Christmas stories in their entirety. Sure, we all know the story of A Christmas Carol, but how many of us can honestly say that we’ve picked up the book and read it? In an attempt to remedy this gap in my reading, I’ll be reading twelve classic Christmas stories this year (hopefully all before the end of December… I make no promises!) and posting reviews for each of them. Most of these are available for download at Project Gutenberg — an excellent resource for free digital classics.
12 Days of Classic Christmas Stories: DAY ONE
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
3 of 5 stars
A short story about a couple striving to give their spouse exactly the right Christmas gift, regardless of the cost to his or her own self.
Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.
Although I don’t recall ever reading this incredibly short story before, it seemed familiar, whether because it’s been retold in other forms many times, or because it was just that predictable. Though the characters are truly — as the author points out at the end — quite foolish in their actions, their motivations of sacrificial love are what make this story worth reading.
Overall: A short, sweet, simple story of selfless love.