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The Gift of the Magi

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  58,507 ratings  ·  876 reviews
One dollar and eight-seven cents is all the money Della has in the world to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure -- her long, beautiful brown hair. Set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, this classic piece of American literature tells the story of a young couple and the sacrifices each must make to buy ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 1905)
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Community Reviews

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Mike
Dec 24, 2011 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Mike by: Miss Robins, English Teacher, Seventh Grade
O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi," illustrated by Lizabeth Zwerger was among my gifts to my wife our first Christmas together. It is one of our annual traditions that I read it to her each Christmas. Yes, I'm hopelessly romantic. I imagine we'll finally hit a year when I hear a gentle snore when she nods off as I'm reading.

"ONE dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and
...more
Sanjay Gautam
A story that has made a lot of girls cry! :p
A very nice story with an emotional twist.
Shayantani Das
The number of great stories you can “sneak read” between lectures is surprising :p

It’s equally surprising when short stories manage to melt your heart when sometimes 1000 pages fail to do so. Generally those stories are written my masters like O Henry, Leo Tolstoy, and Guy De Maupassant etc. The Gift of magi is one such story and it is also connected with some amazing memories. 5 stars all the way..
Emily
I always make references to this story. It's simple and heartbreaking and wonderful. The ending gives me chills:

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
...more
Deborah Markus
As part of our homeschooling, I used to have my son read a classic Christmas-related work every year. He was fine when we read A Christmas Carol together several years in a row, because I'm sorry but that never gets old. He liked the Sherlock Holmes story "The Blue Carbuncle." And he giggled at the various parodies I found of "The Night Before Christmas."

However, he started making mutinous noises after he read this story the year before last. And he almost literally threw the book at me after I
...more
Rajtilak Bhattacharjee
This is one book which bring tears in my eyes everytime I read it. The story of a young couple, living their banalities with grace. Who tries to snatch away a happy moment from time, instead what they got was the happiest moment of their lives. Those who have alraedy read the book must be surprised by this comment. But ladies and gentlemen, don't you think that happiness is being in the arms of that someone special instead of a valuable gift. A must read for every love-sick puppy and for all tho ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
When I was a young boy and I ran out of books to read I became addicted to comics. Two stories stayed with me all these years, one of them this one by O. Henry. The story was plagiarized. I didn't know it was originally by O. Henry until lately.

The other story went something like this: two guys attempted to commit suicide but failed. They landed in a hospital and their beds adjoined each other in a room. One guy was rich once, with millions and millions, but because of his vices he unwisely squa
...more
Leah Good
I read this little short story right before I went to sleep last night. It's positively delightful. A perfect, heartwarming illustration of the blessing of giving.
Yianna Yiannacou
The Gift of the Magi. Not too sure why it is called that but I loved this short story nonetheless.
It starts off with a young woman named Della who only had $1.87 to spend on her husband for Christmas. She knows it is not enough to buy him the nice things that she feels he deserves. The love this woman has for her husband is outstanding because in order to make enough money to buy him something nice, she cuts off her hair which is about down to her knees. She received $20 from the hairdresser th
...more
Pragya
Dec 21, 2011 Pragya rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: favorites
This is one of those cute stories which make you want to fall in love. Either that or have a really close friend who gives it all up for you. This story is about love, selflessness and sacrifice for the one you love. It is a heart-warming little tale that makes you want to hug both Della and Jim, the characters of the story.
Toni
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 l
...more
The Holy Terror
My enjoyment of this was mostly ruined by the fact that I already knew the ending, and also that I felt I've seen adaptations that were more emotionally impactful, (Mickey and Minnie's version being one of them.) I normally wouldn't be able to connect to a short story in the first place, but I thought the tone and language used pushed me away even further. What exactly was the meaning of the pork chops? (I feel like if I read this in a Literature class the pork chops would mean something ... I'd ...more
SkeletalGarden.
A story that basically everyone knows well and loves to no end. I decided to read this on Goodreads because there was an eBook available and it was much shorter than I had thought it would be.

Considering the fact that everyone seems to have read this made me feel slightly ridiculous for having not. I know many people consider it to be "the most perfect story ever written", but I didn't feel that.

In my opinion, it seemed reasonable that two people who were blinded by love in love would sacrifice
...more
Thing Two
It struck me in reading this how much more Jim - the husband - gave up than Della did. Jim gave up something he could not replace, while Della gave up something more temporary. Although, Della was willing to sacrifice something personal.

Interesting 100 year old story. I'm not sure what the Magi has to do with the story, however. This is an American story, commonly re-told at Christmas.
kira
A wonderful story about love, sacrifice and the power of giving.
It's a short story but when you read it you get the point immediately,
for me this story is bitter and greater than 100 'long' novels that take you in the whirlpool of repetition and nonsense, and in the end you deduce nothing good.
It's a good story i congratulate the author.
Peggy Z
Love this sweet short story. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is that I've always wanted to know more about the main characters: their back story, etc. A classic that should be read each Christmas.
Joanie
Ah O. Henry-the king of irony. I loved and hated this story as a kid, the ironic twist was like a kick in the gut each time I read it. I much preferred the "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street" take on the story where Bert trades his paper clip collection to Mr. Hooper to buy Ernie a soap dish to hold Rubber Duckie and Ernie trades Rubber Duckie to get a cigar box for Bert to keep his paper clips in but in the end, Mr. Hooper comes over and gives Ernie Rubber Duckie and Bert his paper clip collection ...more
Dolly
Oct 06, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of O. Henry
Shelves: 2012, christmas
This is a familiar tale, although I don't know if I've read it before or if I'd just heard it. The story has a fairly sophisticated vocabulary, but our girls seemed to get most of the unfamiliar words based on the context.

We read this story while snuggling together in front of the Christmas tree and it made for a heartfelt and poignant storytime. We really enjoyed reading this story together.
Cemre
2,5.

Noel Hediyesi, O. Henry'nin on dokuz kısa öyküsünden oluşuyor. Öyküler bana yatmadan önce çocuklara okunan hikâyeler tadını verdi açıkçası. Rastlantıların, yanlış anlaşılmaların bolluğu öykülerin inandırıcılığını azaltmış, onlara adeta bir Türk filmi havası katmış. Genel olarak öykülerin para üzerine kurulu olduğunu söyleyebilirim. Fazla paraya sahip olma arzusunun, açgözlülüğünün nasıl olumsuz sonuçlar doğurabileceği, bana göre abartılı bir şekilde, okuyucuyla paylaşılmış.

Çeviri konusunda d
...more
Danna
One of my favorites, and this edition of O. Henry's classic is so beautifully illustrated. It never fails to bring on the tears. I used to read this to the fifth graders every year when I was a school librarian. The message is so important, and follows nicely on the heels of the familiar Whos down in Whoville who held hands and sang without packages, boxes, or bags.
Kaethe
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: xmas
I can't even imagine what it must have been like to read this story when it was first published. This, A Christmas Carol, and "It's a wonderful Life" form the trilogy of secular Christmas stories upon which every holiday episode of every sitcom must riff.
Valerie
So this was short and sweet. Not really a fan of short stories but I wanted to read something Christmassy during the holidays so this was really fast. The message is nice and the couple is dear. I had no trouble following the tale and so it was nice. Reminding me of what giving gifts and celebrating Christmas is all about.
Jessica-Robyn
I found The Gift of the Magi to be a very interesting bittersweet tale, but I feel like it would be more palpable for me as a dramatic reading or performance. While I was reading I stumbled over some of the language and that really detracted from my experience. However, I still think it was a worthwhile read because it has been so influential in the realm of many a TV sitcom Christmas special and it's always nice to be familiar with the source material. I'm glad I've finally gotten around to rea ...more
Nada Elfeituri
I probably would've enjoyed this more if it wasn't part of our English curriculum. High school assignments always suck the fun out of reading with the bland, word-count specific essays.
It's still a beautiful and heart-warming story.
Jennefer
Very short and very sweet Christmas story. I don't want to spoil anything but this is just about a couple and their difficulty to find the money to purchase gifts for each other. That's all I will say, but it is very sweet.
Annika
Beautiful and nice. Really a great read. Super cute ending.

Content: G - No inappropriate content.
Mo
Re-read for probably the 10th time. Perfect for this time of year!
Lindsay
Jim got the raw end of this deal; Della's hair will grow back.
Becky
The kids enjoyed this story.
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8993
William Sydney Porter lends the pen name "O. Henry" to surprise endings signed officially as Sydney Porter. His biography shows where he found inspiration for his characters. Their voices and his language were products of his era.

He was born 1862 Greensboro, North Carolina. When he was three years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. He left school at fifteen, worked five years in uncle's drugs
...more
More about O. Henry...
Selected Stories The Ransom of Red Chief The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories The Best Short Stories of O. Henry The Last Leaf

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“Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.” 724 likes
“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. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.” 17 likes
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