THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
It was one week from Dellas 30th birthday and Jim didnt have enough money to buy her a present.
Well, Jim thought, if I dont have a watch then why should I have a chain for one? So, he sold his watch
chain in order to have money for Dellas present. Now, what do I buy Della? he asked himself. I think Ill go
to the flea market and look for something, because one little rusty old chain wont buy me very much, Jim stated
as he started riding his bicycle to the market. At the market Jim found many things, some very pretty and
expensive, some very pretty and cheap, and some just plain ugly things that had been there awhile and always
would be until they were finally thrown away. Omigosh, is that DDDDeeDDDe…? Jim stuttered in
astonishment. Was what he had seen real? Or was he just jumping to conclusions? Was that really the hair that
Della had sold just 2 years ago? It was, and Jim thought that Della would maybe like it back, so he bought it for 2
cents and he was so happy and he thought he had the best present anyone could ever give their girlfriend. Now,
Jim thought, will this be a useful gift, and I dont mean in a few years, this time I want to get it right, So Jim
thought for two days straight. Finally he came up with an idea, Ill make it into a wig, a girl can never have to
many wigs. So he went to the wig shop, which usually only made those white braided wigs that all the important
men wore, but the wigmaker made an exception because Jim was a good friend and after all, it was for a girls
birthday. The wigmaker asked, Are you sure Della will like this present, I mean it is rather odd, and Dellas hair
has already grown twice as long as this. But dont get me wrong, Im not trying to be rude, I mean, well I think
Ill just get started on this wig right away, okay, bye. So Jim left, thinking that the wigmaker was a little out of
his mind that day.
The next day, which was the day before Dellas birthday, the wigmaker called Jim. Hello, Umm, did you
want this wig dyed, or left red? And also, I cant make a wig that fits unless Dellas head is measured, what will
you do to find out without arousing her suspicions? Jim answered uncertainly, Well I guess Ill just have to
thats all, and of course not, Dont you dare dye that beautiful color of hair, its the prettiest Ive ever seen. The
wigmaker replied, Okay, but I still need to know her head size very soon in order to finish the hat, are you sure
you like that color? Im not stupid, what I say I want is what I want. Now, I will bring the measurements over
as soon as I get them, Jim replied rudely.
Della, Jim replied, breathless from running all the way to the store and back to buy a tape measure, I
need to get your measurements for something, could you come here? Della obeys thinking maybe a new dress as a
present. What measurements do you need, honey? Della answered in her sweetest voice. Jim said I need to get
your head size for something, thats all. Well, Okay, Della replied surprised at first, and then realized that she
must be getting a hat for her birthday.
Later at the wig shop. There, its all finished; do you like it Jim? asked the wigmaker. Jim said, Its
great, dont you think? You dont look to sure about it? The wigmaker replied, lying, Its great, after all its the
thought that counts, right?. Sure thing Phil, well, gotta go, tomorrows Dellas birthday, are you going to be
there? Sure Jim, Ill be there. Said the wigmaker.
It is Dellas birthday, all of Jim and Dellas friends are at their home, and she begins to open presents.
She will be opening Jims present first. I wonder what it could be? Della claims, quite ecstatically. She unties
the ribbon, carefully undoes the golden wrapping paper, opens the box, and slowly takes out the tissue paper, piece
by piece. Im really exited, she says as the first piece floats to the floor. I can hardly wait, I know it will be
great, she says as the second tissue is lifted up. This is the last one, its its ……… its a wig!!! Della shouts
loudly and upset. It is just a piece of filthy old hair, worse yet its someone elses who could have germs. How
dare you, you, you Jim shouts back, in order to be heard by the roaring of Della, My sweet, its your very own
hair, the hair in which you cut off to buy me a Christmas present, doesnt that mean anything to you? And besides,
I thought it was the thought that counted. But Della was to upset to listen to reason. She shouted at him, I hate
you, I really hate you. How dare you give me a worthless rag, get away from me, I never want to see you again, Im
packing and leaving tomorrow! As she finished speaking she ran into her bedroom, locked the door, and dropped
onto her bed, crying her eyes out. Della left the next day, not even saying goodbye to Jim. Jim was heartbroken.
He moved away out of shame for being so dum. For the next 30 years he kept the wig, which had been thrown
back in his face by his beloved, and he mourned his loss. He vowed that if he could ever se Della again, he could
make up for his stupidity.
It is 34 years after Della left Jim. Jim had previously been traveling the country, and eventually settled
in Dellas home town, hoping that someday she too would return. Lucky for him, she did return, for her 64th
birthday. She wanted to spend it with her brother, David, and his family. David and Jim had been friends ever
since they met when Della and Jim started seeing each other. David is how Jim had been keeping tabs on where
Della was. By now, Della was old, gray, with short ugly hair. On Dellas birthday, Jim showed up, with the wig
hiding in a box. Della opened the door and froze, stunned. Jim, it, its been so long, why are you here? Della
asked shakily. Jim replied, Well, I have never forgotten you Della, and I still love you and hope you could forgive
me. Actually, I shouldnt have been as cruel to you as I was, but still, that was a dum move, Della said. Jim
stated apologetically, It was a stupid present then, but would you take it now? It kinda fits the situation better
dont you think? But I am not implying that you look ugly now, If I gave you this I wouldnt want you to wear it if
your just around me if you didnt want, because I dont think youve changed one bit. Jim says, taking the box
from behind him and handing it to Della. She opens it, and its the old wig, but cleaned and groomed of course.
Della stutters, I, I, I dont know what to say. I love it, and its true with me also. I have never loved anyone else
but you. Jim asks, Della, will you marry me? Yes, oh yes, of course I will marry you. Della says as she puts
on the old wig.
Della and Jim lived happily ever after, until 2 years later when they both died together in a terrible car