The Gift of the Magi

by O.Henry

Other authorsLisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator), Michael Neugebauer (Designer)
Hardcover, 1982



Local notes

Fic O.He



Neugebauer Press (1982), Edition: 1st, 26 pages. $15.95.


A husband and wife sacrifice treasured possessions in order to buy each other Christmas presents.


Original language


Original publication date

1906-04 (in anthology)
1905-12-10 (in magazine)

Physical description

26 p.; 8.25 x 0.25 inches


0907234178 / 9780907234173



User reviews

LibraryThing member bun65
This book has 4 stories. I like first story,"The Gift of the Magi".
Poor people and for the other two for Christmas,choose a gift in exchange for their precious things, is a heartwarming story.
Loving gift choice for couples who are poor, young, friendly and available over the mood to read.
LibraryThing member m.s.h.y
This is book has short five story.
Every story is interesting. Of cause,my favorite story is the gift.......
This story is about love.
I think the auther want to tell us love is more important than money.
It is simple, but in fact we don't undersrand.
This book gave me the chance I think it.
I want to read this.
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LibraryThing member wanderlustlover
This is not the version of my book I wanted to add here today. I recently acquired a very old copy of this story, in a hard cover, box version, with lovely illustrations by Kevin King that was owned by either my stepfather in his childhood or his mother.

I still kind of both love and do not love this story. It's such a great love, to each give up their most precious object because they decide the joy of the one with them is worth even more than that, and yet it is a story ridiculed to irony. So I'm just....waffly on it.

It gets a three. But I'm still insanely pleased to have this specific copy of it, with it's age and person history.
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LibraryThing member TFS93
A short story that highlights the meaning of a gift and what you would do to get one? Would you sell your most prized possession? What would be the consequences of losing that possession? A short easy to read classic story that is normally told at Christmas time.
LibraryThing member kimbrady
Lisbeth Zwerger illustrates O. Henry's classic tale of a young couples' sacrifices in finding perfect Christmas gifts for each other. It is a touching story about love and unselfishness, and especially relevant during the Christmas season. Zwerger's illustrations are incredibly soft and flowing without sacrificing detail, bringing new dimension to this familiar story. Although a picture book, the thought provoking themes of the story make this more appropriate for upper elementary and older. I would recommend this as a good addition to a school library or public children's collection.… (more)
LibraryThing member davidtaylorjr
I've often heard adaptations of this story but the original is quite good.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Determined to buy her Jim a Christmas present "worthy of being owned" by him, Della confronts a hard reality: the $1.87 that she has managed to save up, by ruthlessly economizing on her weekly budget, won't even come close to being enough for a suitable gift. Reduced to tears, Della's despairing thoughts turn to her one resource: her long, beautiful hair. Acting on impulse, Della sells her knee-length tresses, and uses the money to buy a platinum chain for Jim's treasured gold pocket watch, handed down to him from his father and grandfather. Hers is not the only sacrifice, however, as she discovers when Jim comes home with her gift - beautiful tortoiseshell combs for her hair, paid for through the sale of Jim's pocket watch...

Originally published in 1905, in the newspaper The New York Sunday World, and then in 1906 in a collection of O. Henry stories, The Gift of the Magi is a lovely holiday tale, one which emphasizes the importance of love and of self-sacrifice - the true gifts of the magi - at Christmastime. As the author maintains, Della and Jim may have been "foolish children," but they were wise fools. Although it's been a number of years since I first read it, the story of this poor New York couple, and their mutual sacrifice of their most prized treasures for the sake of the other, is one I continue to enjoy at the holidays. I was therefore quite happy to come across this beautiful picture-book presentation of it, with gorgeous artwork done by the Irish illustrator P.J. Lynch. His paintings capture Della and Jim's tale to perfection and are a pleasure to peruse! Although not written for children, The Gift of the Magi is a story I would not hesitate to give to young readers. Clearly others feel the same, given the number of illustrated children's editions that have been produced over the last few years.
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LibraryThing member Bruce_Deming
Beautiful edition of the well loved classic. Art is more adult style than most kid book style. Lovely lovely book.
LibraryThing member DebraParmley
This is my favorite short story in all the world. I read it again every Christmas.
LibraryThing member mmoj
The Gift of the Magi is a true Christmas inspiration. Jim and Delia's gifts to each other, or rather what they do to get those gifts is truly touching. O'Henry writes a story of warmth and giving. He always makes me think about Christmas in the way I believe it was meant to be - a feeling of giving more than receiving. Isn't this what we should be doing at this time of year - putting others before ourselves?… (more)
LibraryThing member librisissimo
O. Henry's classic of loving intentions gone awry, with classically lovely illustrations.
The type-face is a bit hard to read, although it is a nice one.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The Gift of the Magi, illustrated by Sonja Danowski.

The story of "two foolish children in a flat" who prove to be very wise after all, The Gift of the Magi has been one of my favorite Christmas stories since I first read it as a young adult. Young married couple Jim and Della each sacrifice their most cherished possession in order to give one another gifts, and although they may not be able to use those gifts (at least, not at the time of giving), the love behind their actions make them the most precious presents of all...

I didn't think it was possible for any artist to eclipse P.J. Lynch, in illustrating O. Henry's delightful holiday tale, and I have enjoyed his picture-book presentation of it for a number of years now. When I happened upon this version illustrated by Sonja Danowski at the library however, the gorgeous cover drew me in, and I had to check it out. This is simply beautiful, and I perused the illustrations with delight. It is equal to if not even more lovely than the Lynch, and I hope to add it to my own collection at some point. Truly, a breathtakingly beautiful book, recommended to anyone seeking an illustrated version of this popular tale of a New York couple at Christmas.
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LibraryThing member thebacklistbook
I recently reread this little tale, and remembered reading it before. Back then I thought the moral was never give up your things for a person. Now I know better, it is, "the gift is not important, the intention behind it is key".

In this little story two people are destitute an desperate to get each other a gift of value. They wind selling off there most prized possessions to buy each other something used with that very possession. In the end they are both pleased with each other's thoughtfulness and set the gifts aside to make dinner.

This is a good story to be reading this time of year; to remind ourselves that being together with loved ones is the best gift for the holidays.
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LibraryThing member StephLaymon
The Gift of the Magi has been told in many forms, and many movies have been made following the storyline, albeit sometimes loosely. O. Henry's Christmas packs a huge message in a little box and reminds us of what we should be holding dear.
I am very fond of this story, and am pleased to add it to my collection of read-aloud Christmas books for my family.… (more)




(413 ratings; 3.9)
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