December 23rd – The Gifts of the Magi


To me one of the most poignant love stories of all time was a short story written by O. Henry, who died in 1910. His real name was William Sydney Porter, and his story is called “The Gifts of the Magi”. It described a young married couple living in penury, towards the turn of the last century, in a beat-up apartment in New York. The beautiful young wife was Mrs. James Dillingham Young, and all she had to buy a present for her beloved husband was 1 dollar and 78 cents. She wept. Her Husband Jim earned only 20 dollars a week, and his only valuable possession was his father’s gold watch, left to him, which had no chain. Della’s pride and joy was her long flowing hair which, when let down, could reach her knees. She went to a wig shop and sold her hair to them for 20 dollars, then, head cropped, she went to the jewellers and bought a platinum watch chain for Jim. It cost 21 dollars. She hurried home.
At 7 p.m. Jim was due; He arrived late. She panicked and tried to cover her head with a scarf.
“Please God, make him think I’m still pretty” she cried. Jim stared at her, and she blanked out what she’d done.
“Don’t look at me like that.I sold my hair to buy you a Christmas present.”
“So your long hair has all gone?” he asked, as if in a trance. He put a small package on the table, saying, “I love you with or without your long hair”.
She opened the present – it was a set of tortoiseshell combs, made for long hair: she’d always wanted them.
“It will grow again” she said. “Now let me put this chain onto your lovely gold watch and see how splendid it looks”
“But I sold the watch to buy the combs” he said. And there they were, laughing and crying in each other’s arms that Christmas Eve.
John Chapter 3 v. 16
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Thank you Lord for your love which gives and gives and gives.

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