December 13

Written by Bill Grandi on December 13th, 2022

There are all kinds of heartwarming stories told at Christmas. Just check out the Hallmark channel or the new Great American Family channel. Actually, take my word for it. 🙂

One of the best and greatest stories that I can find-other than the very first Christmas story about a baby in a manger-is the short story written by O’Henry called The Gift of the Magi. I’m guessing there is hardly a person on the planet who has not heard of or read the story.

It is the story of a young couple (Jim & Della)- in love and married- and wanting to celebrate that love at Christmas. But one obstacle stands in their way-they are poor. But that won’t stop them. (Spoiler alert: story revealed} Della has beautiful, long hair, her pride and joy; Jim has a family heirloom-a pocket watch. On Christmas morning they present their gifts to each other.  Jim bought Della combs for her hair; she bought him a chain for his watch. All well and good EXCEPT she cut her hair for the money to buy him the chain; he sold his watch to buy her the combs.

O’Henry finishes his story with these words:

“Let it be said that of all who give gifts, these two are the wisest. Of all who and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi.”

I was moved to wonder the first time I ever read that story and the irony of it. I still am. I want to be like Jim and Della. Keep nothing back. Hold nothing close. Except a profound love I receive from my Savior, my wife, my children, my grandson, and those I pastor.

May the gift of the magi be my story. May it be yours as well.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. That story still brings me to tears, Bill – such a tale of sacrificial love.

  3. Glynn says:

    I first read “The Gift of the Magi” when I was 13, in 8th grade reading class. And I’ve never forgotten it.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I remember reading when I was younger Glynn but your memory is a whole lot better than mine.

  4. gail says:

    What a world it would be if we kept God first in our lives with no exceptions, and we went to great lengths no matter what the cost to serve one another.