Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The 12 Blogs of Christmas: (1) The Gift of the Magi

I want to resurrect an idea I had on my blog a few years back (December '05) where I had 12 blogs in the month of December that all dealt with a theme of Christmas.  Previously I focused on Christmas songs, but this year might be a bit more varied.  Enjoy!

Over on her blog and also on Facebook, my friend Ellen asked a question about favorite Christmas books.  I have a decent number of books tagged "Christmas" in my LibraryThing account (see the search box on the right if you're curious) but after I posted her my reply, I thought of another favorite Christmas story that I haven't thought about for many years.  It's a short story, so it didn't come to mind right away when I thought of Christmas books, but it remains a favorite nonetheless.  It's by the author O. Henry (a wonderful pen name as well as a candy bar) and the story is called The Gift of the Magi.

The story is in the public domain so if you click the link above, you can get the whole text of it, and if you've never read it, I highly recommend doing so now.  Go on, O. Henry is a much better author than I am so you'll enjoy it much more than my ramblings.  I reread it the other day and it hit me as especially profound in today's world of economic hard times.

I'm one of those people that delights in gift giving and I'm ashamed to admit that I love giving expensive gifts too. But recently I've been leaning towards more inexpensive but thoughtful gifts and it's left me ruminating on the short story.  Instead of showing off possessions that inspire envy in others, I would rather people look at Tony and I and realize that we give gifts wisely.  It's why a portion of our Christmas shopping is for people in East Aurora that we've never met as well as for my awesome nieces and nephews.  It's why even before we start spending for family we send money through Compassion for a gift for the child we sponsor.

So in light of Black Friday (yes I was shopping at 3am) and Cyber Monday (I still can't be persuaded that online is the way to go), and our continuing difficult economy, I thought I'd share this story about the theme of giving.  My favorite part is the quote,

"Let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi."  - O. Henry

Hope it touches your heart as it has mine.

1 comment:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

Two posts in less than 24 hours?

I feel faint...