The Gift of the Magi A Christmas Story The Gift of the Magi Story ~ A Christmas Story for Kids

This is the story of The Gift of the Magi, A Christmas Story. It was written by O'Henry and has been adapted here by Stories to Grow by. It presents the Theme of Selflessness which makes it a perfect holiday story. 


Della and Jim were married just a year.  They had very little money and their place was poor.  But what they lacked in fancy things, they made up for with love.

The very next day was Christmas.  All the money Della had to buy a gift for her dear husband was $1.87.  “What on earth can I buy with that?” she asked. 

Turning around, she saw her reflection in the mirror.  Stepping up to the mirror, she stared at her reflection.  “At least Jim loves my long beautiful hair,” she said, taking a spin.  “He calls me his queen!”  Then she stopped cold.  “Some queen I am!” she said, “with just $1.87 to spend on a gift for my husband.”

Thanks to Artist, hajnalkaabonyipatak


Then all at once, Della knew what she must do.  Very fast, she put on her cloak and rushed out of  the apartment.  She ran down the street to a shop where wigs were made.  A sign read: “We buy hair.”

“Tell me,” Della asked the shop woman.  “How much will you pay me for my hair?”

“Come step inside,” said the shop woman, “and let me see it.”

Della stepped in the shop and took off her cloak.  Down fell her long, thick hair. 

Thanks to Artist, hajnalkaabonyipatak


“My, my!” said the shop woman, “I will pay you twenty dollars for your lovely, long hair.”

At last, with twenty dollars in her pocket and the $1.87 from before, Della could go shopping.  But what should she get her husband?  The one thing Jim loved best in all the world was his golden pocket watch.  It had come from his father, and from his father’s father before that.  Sometimes, when Jim did not think anyone could see, he took out that golden watch, turned it over, and rubbed it with care.  Della knew this because she saw him do it. Then Della saw the perfect gift- a gold chain for his pocket watch! 

Thanks to Artist, HirashiKumori


 For $21 she bought the gold watch chain.  With that chain hooked up to Jim’s pocket watch, the watch could not fall out of his pocket.   And wouldn’t Jim look grand when he took out that golden pocket watch and everyone could see the shiny gold chain, too!

That night when Jim came home, Della rushed up to give him the gift she had bought.  Yet when he saw his wife’s short hair on her face, a frown appeared where he had smiled.  “Oh, do not worry, husband!” she cried.  “My hair grows back quickly.”

Thanks to Artist, Kolokolna


Then, before she could give Jim her gift, he handed his wife a small box.  Della untied the ribbon and opened it.  Inside were two beautiful hair combs!  They were the very same ones she had mooned over many times in the store windows, but they cost far too much money. 

Thanks to Artist, hajnalkaabonyipatak


Now they were the gift her dear husband had given her. Then, Della handed Jim her box.  “Now your turn,” she said.

When Jim opened it and saw the gold watch chain, he had to sit down.  “Don’t you like it?” said his wife.  “Of course, I do!” said Jim.  “But you see, I sold my watch so I could buy you the two hair combs.”

“And I sold my hair to buy you the watch chain!” said Della. 

Jim and Della had both given up the one thing they held most dear for the sake of the other.  And now they had nothing to show for it. 

Or did they?

“My queen,” said Jim, taking his wife’s hands into his own and looking into her eyes.

“My dear husband,” said Della, with love.

Thanks to Artist, Charladybyrne



Think and Share Questions: See Other Kids Comments below!

Question 1: Choose one character. How did that person or animal change/grow/learn by the end of the story?

Question 2: Say what you think the story is trying to show you.

What do you think this story is trying to show you? See what other kids say after the Comment Box:

Your email address will not be published.


  1. I think Delle learned that it doesn’t really matter how much the gift is or how much it cost, but what really matters is her love. I think the story is trying to tell me that no matter what the gift is, she and her husband are always going to be happy with or without.

  2. Della learned that they did not have that much money and she wanted to give him a watch chain for Christmas. The story was trying to tell me that they didn’t care what they had, or what anyone else had.

  3. 1. The boy and the girl changed by they each took something from the so they could by the other one a present and
    in the beginning they only loved each other but didnt show how.

    2. The theme of the story is you can always find away to give to give to someone even if your poor.

  4. This story told me its not how much money have to put into the gift its the effort you put into the gifts. Jim and Della both gave away something they each love very much to get each other a gift. Money does not always win.

  5. I think Delle learned that it doesn’t matter the gift but her love with her husband.

    I think the story is trying to show me that we don’t need gifts to be happy.

  6. it doesn’t matter how much money you have , what matters is that you have people who care about you and that you have a roof over your head. Don’t give away the things you cherish to get what you don’t have because it doesn’t matter if poor OR rich because poor is rich . Rich mean’s having a roof over your head and food in your belly so even if your poor and have no money your still rich because you have a roof and food . So appreciate what you have.


Get new stories by email:


This is the original ending of the story as presented by O'Henry for further discussion after reading our version. The magi, as you know, were wise men—wonderfully wise men—who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise,their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. 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 that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.