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December 4, 2006

The Gift of the Magi



This is one of my favorite books to read every Christmas. I gave my husband a copy (the smaller of the two cover art examples) in 1993 and read it right about this time in December after I've unpacked all the holiday decorations, cds and books. It's such a beautiful, touching story and in spite of the numerous times I've read it, I still get a lump in my throat when I reach the final pages.

From the back cover:

The Gift of the Magi

O. Henry's most famous short story, "The Gift of the Magi" has a universal appeal that extends beyond the Christmas season. Set in New York at the turn of the century, the story centers on a young couple and the sacrifices each must make in order to buy the other a gift. The pictures by the award-winning Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger are infused with the poignancy and delight of this simple tale about the rewards of unselfish love.

9 comments:

  1. I could read this story every year. I never get tired of it. Never. Upon first reading it in grade school, I began yanking on my pixie-cut hair so that it would grow faster and I would have some decent hair to sell by the time I married a poor but handsome guy like Jim.

    Happy birthday, Les! I know it's sometime this week, but I don't remember the day, sorry. Have fun...eat cake!

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  2. Anonymous6:39 AM

    Ohhhh, Les, this does sound like a wonderful book - I am definitely going to have to look for it this Christmas. Thanks for sharing this one with us!

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  3. Anonymous10:24 AM

    I haven't read this since 6th grade when we were studying O. Henry and the short story. I should definitely revisit this. But the fact that I vividly remember the story from 1986 definitely says something about this awesome story.

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  4. Bybee - I read it last night. Every year I seem to gain something new from the reading.

    Thanks for the birthday wishes. It's not until the 13th, but thanks in advance! :) I know yours is coming up on the 11th, right?

    Angela - yep! Sweet and inspiring. I love the artwork, too.

    Lotus - Oh, you must get this! I think I first read the story in a O. Henry anthology and when I saw this beautiful copy, I knew I had to buy it for Rod.

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  5. Camille - Ah, you must be young to remember something you read 20 years ago! I can barely remember what I read this morning! Thanks for stopping by. And, by the way, those cookies on your blog look absolutely heavenly!! I may have to snag the recipe. I'm ready to start my baking this weekend. On deck: Shortbread cookies, Rugelach, and Biscotti. I'll post recipes and pics on my cooking blog in the next week or so.

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  6. That is a great story, one I haven't read in a long time. Your post reminded me that I picked it up at the UBS earlier this year. I guess this is the perfect time to read it! Thanks for the reminder!

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  7. Wow, I love Lisbeth Zwerger's illustrations. I have a Han's Christian Anderson book with her illustrations in it. She's fantastic!

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  8. Heather - You're welcome! Enjoy.

    Carl - I just located the book you probably own. She's done a lot of wonderful books. Have you seen this website? I may have to get a copy of The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol to add to my collection.

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