Mr. James Dillingham Young ("Jim") and his wife, Della, are a couple living in a modest apartment. They have only two possessions between them in which they take pride: Della's beautiful long, flowing hair, almost touching to her knees, and Jim's shiny gold watch, which had belonged to his father and grandfather.
On Christmas Eve, with only $1.87 in hand, and desperate to find a gift for Jim, Della sells her hair for $20 to a nearby hairdresser named Madame Sofronie, and eventually finds a platinum pocket watch fob chain for Jim's watch for $21. Satisfied with the perfect gift for Jim, Della runs home and begins to prepare pork chops for dinner.
At 7 o'clock, Della sits at a table near the door, waiting for Jim to come home. Unusually late, Jim walks in and immediately stops short at the sight of Della, who had previously prayed that she was still pretty to Jim. Della then admits to Jim that she sold her hair to buy him his present. Jim gives Della her present – an assortment of expensive hair accessories (referred to as “The Combs”), useless now that her hair is short. Della then shows Jim the chain she bought for him, to which Jim says he sold his watch to get the money to buy her combs. Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use, they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is.
- Taken from Wikipedia
- Also taken from Wikipedia
I note the points above
- how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money
- a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving
- how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is
Aww so sweet? Seriously?
What moral lesson is there about gift giving? To sacrifice to give a gift is morally right? Or people who don't give a gift is morally wrong? Or is it right to sell your prized possessions just to provide a gift? What do children think when they read this story? If my parents are poor, they should sell their possessions to buy me a gift to show that they love me?
No... seriously, there are so many things wrong with this story...
1. Lack of communication
The couple know they are poor. They should have discussed this and managed their finances appropriately. Buying secret gifts for each other should be unnecessary. Even if they wanted to sell their prized possessions, they should use the money for necessities or investments or whatever. Due to their lack of communication, they have now squandered whatever wealth they have.
2. Believing that buying gifts during Christmas is a necessity
I'm not a wet blanket. Sure Christmas is a time of good cheer, holiday mood and happiness. If you can afford to give a gift, I think sure by all means buy something to make someone else happy. But if the family is not doing well, why are they pressured to give a gift to each other? I'm sure that they would have understood the need to be frugal. I'm sure they got married knowing that their financial situation wasn't good. So why would they want to make their situation worse?
3. A story of stupidity, not love
It goes to show, how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how priceless their love really is... no really... if both parties DON'T buy presents for each other and are still happy, I would think that their love is priceless and how much they love each other. For both of them understand their dire situation and are willing to love each other still. But instead they both try to sacrifice their own possessions to SHOW their love. Love is not shown through material items. Or sacrifice of material items. Love is shown by the little things in your daily life. Like her making pork chops for him when he comes home. Or that he goes to work and tries to make money to have food on the table. Love is when they decided to get married knowing that their lives would have tough without much money. These are acts of love.
Sacrificing something important for something frivolous is NOT love. I'm not belittling the price of their gift. I'm commenting about the act of the gift in itself is frivolous. They both sold their prized possessions to buy something for the other party. If they bought bread for the family, it would be love. If they bought necessities, it would be love. If they both sacrificed for the common good of their relationship, I would deem it love. But they chose to buy something unnecessary, and in this case, they might as well have bought bricks for each other.
Well, I hope the shops they patronized have a return policy...
Don't agree with me?
Let me put this in another way.
1. Boyfriend remembers girlfriend's birthday. Buys gifts and all the works. Girlfriend is happy. Girlfriend feels that boyfriend loves her.
2. Boyfriend doesn't remember girlfriend's birthday. Girlfriend is not happy. Girlfriend feels boyfriend doesn't love her. Makes boyfriend miserable, silent treatment, etc
3. Boyfriend doesn't remember girlfriend's birthday. Girlfriend is ok. Girlfriend tells boyfriend everyday is with him is already a gift.
When you can look past the normal stuff and still be with the person. That is love.
It is after the mistakes that you are still with the other party. That is love.
If you are expecting a big diamond ring for your wedding, and you don't get it and you don't want to get married. Do you call that love??