Literature / The Gift of the Magi

"The Gift of the Magi" is a 1906 short story by O. Henry, where a poor couple, Della and Jim, has little more than each other. Della sells her beautiful hair to a wigmaker to buy a chain for her man's heirloom watch. On Christmas day, she discovers that Jim has sold his watch to buy her combs for her hair. The original story can be found here.

This story has become one of the all-time classic Christmas stories, and with good reason. It was set as an opera by American composer David Conte. Also frequently used to teach Dramatic Irony. A popular source for Whole Plot Reference; see "Gift of the Magi" Plot.

"The Gift of the Magi" provides examples of: