Perspective: Re-Gift Of The Magi

Dec 14, 2018

In O. Henry's short Christmas story "The Gift of the Magi," a husband and wife each sell a prized possession in order to buy a special gift for the other. But because of what was sold, neither can use the gift that was given. 

 


When my son was a teen, he often opened my box of mementos and took out my high school class ring, admiring it for reasons yet unknown to me.  This occurred at a time when he began karate lessons, but I couldn't afford to buy a uniform for him. 
 

Determined to give him one, I sold my high school ring for almost exactly the amount I needed to provide him with proper karate clothing.  He was thrilled, until he later learned why the ring was missing from my keepsake box. 

 

Years passed, and I casually asked him what became of that uniform.  Somewhat reluctantly, he told me he had given it – freely -- to a young student who, like us at an earlier time, couldn't afford to provide one.  He remembered how I had sold my ring to obtain it and was afraid I would be upset at him for giving it away. 


 
But it was pride, not anger, which I felt at that moment.  Like the Magi of old, his decision -- and the gift that resulted for that younger karate student -- demonstrated a wisdom that is eternal. 

 

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.