Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas and ‘The gift of the Magi’: Sacrifice and joy amidst suffering.
O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), was a writer par excellence who could put across his message powerfully. It is indeed seen in the short story ‘The gift of the Magi’1 which is a story about a couple, Jim and Della, who love each other so much but are too poor to buy gifts for each other for Christmas because of the difficult times.
Even in trying times and the poverty which can’t be wiped away, the young couple decide to sacrifice the only things they truly own. Jim decides to sell his pocket watch to buy Della a comb set and Della decides to sell her beautiful hair to buy Jim a chain for his pocket watch. In every sense O. Henry makes each one of us think about what celebrations like Christmas are all about. Are they times to flaunt our wealth, or are they opportunities to sacrifice what we have for others?
Jesus makes a similar reference when he says that the contribution of the poor widow has much more significance than other contributions. It is important to understand how some people spend a part of their income and others have to make significant sacrifices to be a part of a celebration. In every sense Christmas and every other celebration should be just this. It should be a celebration of love, sacrifice and the importance of living beings rather than anything else.
Go here to read the entire story.