The Gift of the Magi A Christmas StoryThe Gift of the Magi Story ~ A Christmas Story for Kids

This is the story of The Gift of the Magi, A Christmas Story. It was written by O’Henry and has been adapted here by Stories to Grow by. It presents the Theme of Selflessness which makes it a perfect holiday story. 

Della and Jim were married just a year.  They had very little money and their place was poor.  But what they lacked in fancy things, they made up for with love.

The very next day was Christmas.  All the money Della had to buy a gift for her dear husband was $1.87.  “What on earth can I buy with that?” she asked. 

Turning around, she saw her reflection in the mirror.  Stepping up to the mirror, she stared at her reflection.  “At least Jim loves my long beautiful hair,” she said, taking a spin.  “He calls me his queen!”  Then she stopped cold.  “Some queen I am!” she said, “with just $1.87 to spend on a gift for my husband.”

 

All the money Della had to buy a gift for her dear husband was $1.87.

 

Then all at once, Della knew what she must do.  Very fast, she put on her cloak and rushed out of  the apartment.  She ran down the street to a shop where wigs were made.  A sign read: “We buy hair.”

“Tell me,” Della asked the shop woman.  “How much will you pay me for my hair?”

“Come step inside,” said the shop woman, “and let me see it.”

Della stepped in the shop and took off her cloak.  Down fell her long, thick hair. 

“My, my!” said the shop woman, “I will pay you twenty dollars for your lovely, long hair.”

At last, with twenty dollars in her pocket and the $1.87 from before, Della could go shopping.  But what should she get her husband?  The one thing Jim loved best in all the world was his golden pocket watch.  It had come from his father, and from his father’s father before that.  Sometimes, when Jim did not think anyone could see, he took out that golden watch, turned it over, and rubbed it with care.  Della knew this because she saw him do it.

Then Della saw the perfect gift- a gold chain for his pocket watch!  For $21 she bought the gold watch chain.  With that chain hooked up to Jim’s pocket watch, the watch could not fall out of his pocket.   And wouldn’t Jim look grand when he took out that golden pocket watch and everyone could see the shiny gold chain, too!

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FOOTNOTE:

This is the original ending of the story as presented by O'Henry for further discussion after reading our version. The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise,their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.