December 15, 2014
Two Christmas Stories - Tracy Krauss
One of my all time favourite Christmas stories is 'The Gift of the Magi' by O. Henry. In the story, Jim and Della, a young married couple, are very much in love, but have no money to buy Christmas gifts. Each one secretly decides to sacrifice something of importance in order to buy the other a present. Della cuts off her long, beautiful hair and sells it so that she can buy Jim a chain for his heirloom pocket watch. Jim sells the watch so that he can buy Della some combs for her hair. The irony is evident. She no longer has her long hair and can't use the combs and he doesn't need a watch chain since he no longer owns the watch.
I often think Jim got the short end of that deal - at least Della's hair will grow back! In any case, the real message is that true love is never self serving but will sacrifice all for the sake of the other.
While the story takes its title from the tale of the wise men who brought gifts to Jesus, I think it is better compared to the ultimate gift that Jesus himself gave us. He gave his very life in order that mankind might be reconciled to God. There is no greater gift than that.
Helping Hands Press. It is called 'The Best Blue Christmas' and follows a disgruntled insurance worker as she struggles to avoid the holidays. When she finds an unlikely sympathizer in her good looking neighbour, she realizes Christmas doesn't have to be all bad. The story is part of an anthology of Christmas stories releasing this month by HHP.