How do Jim and Della feel toward one another? How do you know? If possible what kind of evidence is shown from the story?

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jim and Della love each. Readers know this because they tell each other that fact.  

"Maybe the hairs of my head could be counted,” she said, “but no one could ever count my love for you."

. . .

“Nothing like a haircut could make me love you any less."

Beyond their words to each other, it is obvious to readers that they love each other because of their actions. Jim and Della are not wealthy people—they are actually the opposite of wealthy. Della has been saving money a single penny at a time in order to buy Jim a wonderful present. 

She had put it aside, one cent and then another and then another, in her careful buying of meat and other food.

Her efforts have netted her a bit of extra spending money.  She has $1.87 to spend on her husband, and she weeps over the fact that it's not enough money to get a gift that is equivalent of her love for Jim. 

There was nothing to do but fall on the bed and cry. So Della did it.

As readers continue to read, we find out that Jim and Della (despite being poor) do have two things that they value greatly. Jim has a watch that has been in his family for a very long time, and Della has her long, beautiful hair. 

If a queen had lived in the rooms near theirs, Della would have washed and dried her hair where the queen could see it. Della knew her hair was more beautiful than any queen’s jewels and gifts.

If a king had lived in the same house, with all his riches, Jim would have looked at his watch every time they met. Jim knew that no king had anything so valuable.

Jim and Della show their great love for each by selling each of their most prized possessions in order to afford a worthy gift for each other. Della sells her hair in order to buy a "gold watch chain" to go with Jim's watch. Unbeknownst to Della, Jim sold his watch in order to buy her the beautiful combs that she's been wanting. These actions show that Jim and Della's love is a sacrificial love. Each person is willing to sacrifice and give up their most prized possession in order to make the other person happy. Their love for each other is completely selfless.  

clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jim and Della are young and very much in love with one another. The evidence of their love is in their desire to please the other by purchasing the perfect gift for Christmas. Each one, out of love, sacrifices the thing which is most important to them in order to buy the other a gift to accentuate that item. Della loves her hair, as does Jim, it's beautiful so much so that royalty would want her hair. She loves it and she loves that Jim loves it as well. She sells her hair to a salon to buy Jim a fob chain for his watch. Jim's watch is a beautiful family heirloom and he cherishes it. Della says that it is a fine watch and many would marvel over the sight of it, except that he wears it on a leather strap which takes away from it's beauty. Jim sells the watch to buy Della beautiful shell combs to adorn her already beautiful hair. Each one sacrificed their most prized possession to please the other and demonstrate their love for one another.