A story is told about a young married couple whose names are Jim and Della. They are poor but very much in love with each other.
As Christmas approaches, Della wonders what to get Jim for Christmas. She would like to give him a watch chain for his gold watch, but she doesn’t have enough money. Then she gets an idea. She has beautiful long hair. So Della decides to cut off her hair and sell it to buy the fancy chain for Jim’s watch.
On Christmas Eve she returns home, and in her hand is beautiful box containing a gold watch chain which she purchased by selling her hair. Suddenly Della begins to worry. She knows Jim admired her long hair, and she wonders if he will be disappointed that she cut it off and sold it.
Della climbs the final flight of stairs leading to their tiny apartment. She unlocks the door and is surprised to find Jim home and waiting for her. In his hand is a neatly wrapped box containing his gift he purchased for her.
When Della removes her scarf Jim sees Della’s short hair, and tears well up in his eyes. But she says nothing. He chokes back the tears and gives Della the gift box.
When Della opens it, she can’t believe her eyes. There in the box is a set of beautiful silver combs for her long hair.
And when Jim opens his gift, he, too, is astonished. There inside the box is a beautiful gold chain for his gold pocket watch. Only the does Della realize that Jim pawned his gold watch to buy her the silver hair combs.
Far more beautiful than the gifts is the love they symbolize.