Jim and Della were materially poor. They lived in a small, poorly furnished apartment, wore ragged clothes that were worn out, and in general needed to save every penny possible. Luxuries were not in their budget.
A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout...On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat.
And yet, they sold their most prized possessions and used the money to buy each other a Christmas present. The income from the sacrifice of Della's hair and Jim's watch could have bought them new clothes or paid for the rental of a nicer apartment.
In demonstrating the depth of their love for each other, they demonstrated their understanding of what was truly important. By placing their devotion to the other above all worldly, materialistic considerations, they showed their wisdom in choosing what was truly important.
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. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.