November 18, 2009


{A young couple, Jim and Della, celebrate their love for
each other during the holiday season}

As we approach the holiday season, I have been thinking about the simple goodness celebrated during this time of year. I look forward to reading the many traditional holiday books, and the one I love the most are the stories by O.Henry. These tales honor the redemptive and generous qualities of the human spirit. In particular, I love his most famous story, "The Gift of the Magi," about a poor young couple who sacrifices their most beloved treasures in the name of their love for each other. Their life is simple and sweet and full of a truly devoted love.

I highly recommend you watch the 1952 film O.Henry's Full House (available here on Hulu), a series of movie vignettes based on a few O.Henry's stories, including "The Gift of the Magi." The movie is narrated by none other than John Steinbeck (author of The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men), who introduces the stories in a deep, mahogany voice as smoke from his cigar casts a hazy veil around his face. This film reminds me of another era where people worked hard and reaped the benefits of their good, moral characters. In many ways, I feel like our culture has lost those types of values. The stories are classic and humbling and make me appreciate the more basic joys of life in this coming holiday season.

Image found here.

1 comment:

  1. i was della in the play version of "the gift of the magi" when i was in highschool!

    "you cut your hair...for me?"
    "you sold your watch...for me?"

    {at this point in the play, i had to hold hands + look lovingly at a boy named alex. it was a bit of a big deal}


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