What is Della's plan in "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Gift of the Magi," Della desperately wants to give her husband Jim a special gift for Christmas, but she has very little money--one dollar and eighty-seven cents to be exact.  After crying about it for awhile, she pulls herself together and comes up with a plan. Her hair is her most beautiful and valuable possession, and upon seeing it in the glass, she knows what she must do. 

"Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts." (Henry 2)

Della knows that her beautiful, long hair is worth money to some people, so her plan is to sell it, and then she will use the money to buy the perfect gift for Jim. Once the plan is hatched, Della puts on her coat and goes out to make it happen.