Dela gets home and after counting several times, realizes she only has $1.87 to buy her husband, Jim, a present for Christmas.
Preparing the Chops
After sitting down in front of her mirror, Della gets the idea of selling her long, wavy hair to Mrs. Sofronie in order to obtain more money to spend on Jim's Christmas present.
I cut my hair to give you this fob for Christmas.
You cut your hair?
After sitting down in front of her mirror, Della gets the idea of selling her long, wavy hair, she searches vigorously through all the stores to find the perfect fob chain for Jim's watch. She finds the perfect chain and races home to prepare for Jim's arrival.
My hair grows so fast, Jim.
And now suppose you put the chops on.
While Della is preparing the coffee and the chops, she faces a moment of regret about cutting her hair off. She doesn't believe that Jim will love her if she looks the way she does. This moment causes Della to fret about what Jim will think and gives a whole new conflict.
Jim is home right on time and Della explains to him why she cut and sold her hair. Jim is bewildered and Della believes it is about her appearance but finds out later what made him so awestruck.
Della doesn't understand what Jim means when he says to open the gift, but finds out that Jim had bought her the exact combs for her hair that she wanted from the Broadway widow. Although this was a sweet gift, Jim has to sell his watch in order to buy them. In the end, the two characters learn that it is the thought that really counts.