3 Dec 2009

The Gift of the Magi

Another beautiful, beautiful book from our advent Basket of Delights - The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry.

In this classic American short story first published in 1909, Della desperately wants to buy her husband Jim a Christmas gift. She has managed to save just $1.87, and it is now Christmas Eve. Without telling Jim, Della sells her most valuable possession, her beautiful hair, in order to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim's gold heirloom watch; while unbeknownst to Della, Jim sells his own most valuable possession, the watch, to buy jewelled combs for Della's lovely long hair. Typical O. Henry irony at its finest.

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.

As if O. Henry's mastery of the English language weren't reason enough to buy this book then P J Lynch's magnificent illustrations must certainly convince you.

It is available this Christmas in a new collection of three glorious books illustrated by Lynch packaged together in an attractive slipcase. Called the P J Lynch Classic Christmas Collection, it contains:

  • The Gift of the Magi;
  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey; and
  • A Christmas Carol.
To be honest, Christmas in our Peaceful Home wouldn't be the same without all three.

You can read The Gift of the Magi online, without the pictures here.



  1. That book looks beautiful! I will have to hop over to amazon and see if I can get it. THANK you for posting this! Your thoughts on the book also blessed me. I have been wondering about gifts for my kids...that helped me see things from a different perspective. :)

  2. I remember loving this story as a child too. lovely

  3. Jeanne, I love you!

    My dad asked me to find things for the kids online, then send him the links so that he can purchase everything and send them over. My mom was the present guru. She always took care of everything. Dad so wants to give presents (not money), but wants the kids to have things they'll really like. I had a few things that had been on my list for a while, but was stuck on a few others, so your book reviews are a God send for me. Thank you!

    Now, I'm off to amazon to find some great books for Christmas!


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