Why would you recommend the short story "The Gift of Magi" to someone?    Why would you recommend the short story "The Gift of Magi" to someone?    

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The relevance of the moral to O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" is greater nowadays than it was in the time it was written. For, the narrative contains the theme of unselfishness as the way to true happiness.  That Jim and Della realize that no sacrifice is too great for those one's love, O. Henry, as narrator, comments,

And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.  But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said the of all who give gifts, such as they are wisest.  Everywhere they are wisest.  They are the Magi.

Clearly, O. Henry exalts Jim and Della as wiser than anyone else for understanding that love is thinking and living for the other, now oneself.  Truly, this is a moral lesson that is extremely relevant in the modern world.  And, because this lesson is taught in such a poignant and sentimentally humorous manner readers surely will be moved by O. Henry's short story. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would recommend “The Gift of the Magi” to a friend.  I think it is a meaningful love story and a classic.  I might give it to a friend who is getting married, to remind her that love is more important than possessions.

“The Gift of the Magi” is still a popular story today because of its interesting plot.  In the story, a young couple is trying to get gifts.  Jim buys his wife a set of combs, only to learn that she has sold her hair.  Delia buys Jim a watch band, only to learn that he sold his watch to buy her combs for the beautiful hair she no longer has.  Since the story has an ironic surprise ending, it became a classic.


I think the story sends a good message to young couples just starting out, or anyone else, that love is more important than material wealth.  It’s also a lesson in communication, because if Delia and Jim had talked to each other they might have avoided the pain.


stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I love "The Gift of the Magi" because I find it easy to identify with Jim and Della and their situation. They are deeply in love and desperately want to give a Christmas gift that is representative of the width and depth and height of their love, but there is no money for such an extravagant purchase. The thoughtful and creative manner in which they each solve this problem, the willingness to sacrifice in order to honor the other, the reaction each has when the present is given - I find it a very touching portrayal of all that true love should be.

thisdayinhistory eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would recommend the short story "The Gift of the Magi" because it is a classic story which provides for a moral about gift giving. It is the thought that counts. The story is about a couple who want to buy Christmas gifts for each other, but they do not have much to spend. Each finds the perfect gift for the other, but in an ironic twist, they have both given up something significant in order to buy the gifts. It is a great story about love, thoughtfulness and friendship for people of all ages.