The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry

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The Gift of the Magi By O. Henry (1862-1910)

The Gift of the Magi is an 0. Henry short story in which a young couple is very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. For Christmas, they each make a sacrifice to purchase a gift for the other, with ironic results.

The moral of the story is that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things. The true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Delia, share is greater than their possessions.

O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Delia and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi. The Gift of the Magi features 0. Henry's characteristic twist ending and use of flowery diction. (Summary adapted from

Read by Betsie Bush; total running time: 00:13:22.

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This recording is in the public domain and may be reproduced, distributed, or modified without permission. For more information or to volunteer, visit Cover picture by William Morris & Company (1915-1917). Author photo by W. M. Vanderweyde (first published 1917). Copyright expired in U.S., Canada, EU, and all countries with author's life +70 yrs laws. Cover design by Janette Brown. This design is in the public domain.