the gift of the magi

If you don’t know this story, it goes like this:

when gifts go wrong...hug it out.
when gifts go wrong…hug it out.

There’s a young couple – very in love and very very poor (yep, sounds familiar, I know).

They each have 1 valuable possession, an item that no matter house poor they get, they will not part with.

The girl has a beautiful, long hair (sexist crap) an the guy has a gold watch from his father.

So, it’s Christmas. And as we all know, when you’re in a couple, and it’s Christmas, the pressure is on.

The guy wants to buy his lady something beautiful (an epidemic) and the girl wants to purchase an amazing gift for her dude.

Slight issue: they only have $1.

So, they go out and get credit cards and buy each other Prada bags, and a vacation to Jamaica, and he takes out a car loan on an Audi.

The end.

Joking! Joking! This is before credit cards.

So, they do the only thing they can – they each secretly sell their prized possessions.

She sells her hair for $20 (cheap-ass extensions) and buys him a watch chain for his watch.

He sells his watch for $20 and buys her combs.

Xmas morning comes and they both discover that they bought the sweetest, but most inappropriate gifts possible.

If you can overlook the weird comparison of hair to watch, you must admit, it’s a sweet story.

But there is one thing that never gets mentioned:why would this very poor couple buy gifts at all?

It’s a question that’s always plagued me – why do poor people buy unaffordable¬†gifts for their spouses/children/relatives/etc?


When I was a kid, we always had massive piles of christmas gifts. Never 1, or even 5, more like 20-30 beautiful, thoughtful gifts.

I’ve never gotten a gift that changed how I felt about someone.

If I didn’t like them before, no lavish gift has changed my feelings, and if I adored them, I wouldn’t care if they got me a rock.

Do you buy gifts you can’t afford? And even if you can afford them, are they worth it?¬†


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