Poverty leads the Dillinghams to sacrifice their dearest possessions but ultimately turns to contentment, earning the title "The Magi." Discuss in detail the statement.

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The Dillinghams don't become content in their "poverty," but they show the wisdom to find ways of expressing their deep love in spite of their financial circumstances. They are called "The Magi" because they showed themselves to be "wise ones" in the demonstration of their love for each other, which is the most important thing in anyone's life.

Their low level of income meant that Della and Jim could not easily obtain money to purchase a Christmas present for the other that adequately portrayed the depth of the affection and appreciation felt. Della wanted to buy

Something fine and rare and sterling-something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim.

To solve her dilemna, she sells her greatest treasure, her hair. The sacrifice gives her the wherewithall to purchase the watch fob that was "worthy of The Watch." Jim sells the family heirloom watch to purchase the set of combs for Della's long hair.

The sacrifices they made for each other gave testimony to their wisdom in putting each other first.

Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

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Magi were biblical wise men who visited the baby Jesus at the time of His birth. They were noted for their abilities to prognosticate and predict events using astrological signs and other available science of the day.

O.Henry uses bittersweet irony in this story as the characters sell the very things that each gift would find most useful: Jim sells his heirloom watch, which would be necessary to use a watch chain, and his wife sells her hair, which would be needed for tortoise-shell hair combs. Both acts of sacrifice, however, while seeming to bring about foolish results, exhibit the wisdom of true sacrificial love, and that wisdom is what earns them the label "the magi." Both characters show that there is true wisdom found through heartfelt giving.  

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