Summary: O. Henry’s most famous short story, “The Gift of the Magi” has a universal appeal that extends beyond the Christmas season. Set in New York at the turn of the century, the story centers on a young couple and the sacrifices each must make in order to buy the other a gift. — from Goodreads
It’s been several decades since I actually read The Gift of the Magi, probably sometime in Junior High or even before. So, I think what I know of it now is through the various re-telling in movies and television. What I was left with is a nice story but a little melodramatic. That is not at all what this story is at all. If you haven’t read it or haven’t read it lately do yourself a favor and read it this Christmas. I know it’s short notice but you can find the whole story on any number of websites and it is very short. If it doesn’t fill you with the true Christmas spirit I will be amazed.
Unlike modern T.V. and movie adaptions this is a simple story of two young, poor, and very much in love people who make a huge sacrifice to give their true love the perfect gift. The beauty of the story is not in the sacrifice nor the gift giving. It is in the simple. almost underplayed reaction. No big bells and whistles, just the knowledge that love is best, and truest gift of all.
Really, this is what O. Henry does best. He shines a light people living their lives. The simple acts which makes us all alike. These is little fanfare, just respect and dignity. I really loved the way this story made me feel after reading it. I truly feel in a Christmas mood now.