The story, “The Gift of the Magi,” by O. Henry is a lovely story of a young couple living in a small apartment in New York.  The story was published in 1905.  It tells of how both of them made sacrifices so that they could buy the perfect gift for their spouse.  The wife decided to sell her hair so she could purchase a platinum watch fob for her husband’s pocket watch.  He in turn, sold his watch so that he could buy some beautiful combs to adorn his wife’s hair.  Obviously their thoughtful gifts became useless, but because of their sacrificial giving, their love endured in spite of it.

Ironic isn’t it.  We sometimes think we’re buying just the right thing, but it doesn’t always turn out that way.  The fact that both of these people made sacrifices to purchase something special for their significant others is really the point of the story.  When we buy those gifts with the complete focus being on the other person, we’re giving part of ourselves to them.  

In the Biblical version of the wise men coming to Bethlehem to pay homage to the new king, we may get the wrong idea about those guys.  In the song, “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” we’re told that they were kings.  Truth – they were more likely astrologers who viewed the Christmas star and realized something extraordinary was taking place.  They were also more likely from Babylon than the Orient, because it was the site of the practice of astrology.  We don’t know how many there were.  There could’ve been three or thirty three.

The O. Henry version of “The Gifts of the Magi,” is like many stories of sacrifice that pop up at this time of the year. There was “The Juggler of God,” and “The Little Drummer Boy” which in like manner show gifts of the givers being gifts of their selves. 

We don’t know all of gifts the Magi brought to Bethlehem, but apparently they were very expensive. We’re told of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold was probably used to allow Mary and Joseph to flee from Bethlehem to Egypt so Jesus wouldn’t be murdered with all the newly born children of that area. Gold is also a gift befitting a King, which Jesus is.  The gift of frankincense was a fragrant resin used in worshiping God.  We know Jesus is also God with us.  The gift of myrrh was at the time used in burial preparation, which would indicate the final sacrifice Jesus would give for all of us.  We’re also told that Mary held these things in her heart, and thought about them often, so they were not only memorable and expensive, she knew that her Son was worth all of them.

When we give gifts at this time of year, we may hope that our gift has special meaning for the person receiving it. We may be trying to make an impression. We might even look at our gifts as sacrifices because they come at great cost to us. The greatest gift of Christmas was offered in the form of a little baby – a child born in poverty – a seemingly insignificant gift, but one which would prosper the entire world and give it everlasting peace.

Jesus is our Christmas present. We all need to start remembering that. Our gifts pale in comparison. The greatest gift one can give for another is his life. This little child became Immanuel (God with us) so that we would someday become heirs of His kingdom.





As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on
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9 Responses to THE GIFT OF THE MAGI

  1. oneta hayes says:

    I’m not familiar with the Juggler of God. I’ll look it up. So many Christmas story details we might mix up but the Gift, never. I’ve almost become a Scrooge but when I look at the Gift, I’m revived.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Kathy, this is a beautiful and well-written piece; there’s one gift that truly matters. I’m so thankful to have been raised in a family that celebrates this gift as our ultimate. The gift of our Savior; it’s so humbling and precious. I started a tradition when the boys were little; they each received 3 gifts and one gift unwrapped from Santa. We were shopping one day (I’m not much of a shopper so that’s funny in itself 😉 and my oldest was around 6, the youngest 3. A kind man said to Jarrod, “You’re a nice young man. I bet you’ll get a lot of gifts for Christmas!” Jarrod responded, “Nope! Mom says if Jesus got only 3 gifts that’s what we get!” The man laughed. I’m so thankful to Christ. I hope your strength is gaining day by day (and Paul’s). I’m having a physically tough day, but God is so good and I know better days are coming! Love and hugs my friend.

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