I only have $1.87, but I still need to buy a gift for my husband Jim to show him how much he means to me.
Della Sells Her Hair
I can't believe that I'm giving up my most valued possession for money, but I know my husband deserves a nice gift.
Della Buys the Chain
What a lovely fob chain for my husband's Christmas gift. I finally have enough money!
Watches n' More
Della saves her money all year, yet only has $1.87 to buy her husband a Christmas gift. She was planning on buying him something nice to show how much she loves him, but realizes she can't with so little money.
Della Waits for Jim
Della decides to give up her hair. This was one of her most valuable possessions, the other being her husband's family heirloom, a watch. She makes twenty dollars off of it, which was money she needed for the gift, even though she loved her hair.
Jim Sees Della's Haircut
Where is your hair? What happened to all of your hair?
After selling her hair, Della spends the money on a beautiful fob chain for Jim's deeply valued pocket watch. As soon as she saw it in the store she felt that she needed it for him because it was made "for Jim and no one else."
Jim Gives Della the Combs
Della nervously waits for Jim to come home. She tries to make herself look nice by curling her hair, but still feels insecure. Before Jim walks in she says a little prayer to herself that Jim will still think she's pretty.
If Jim doesn't kill me, before he takes a second look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl.
The climax of the story is when Jim, Della's husband, comes home on Christmas Eve and sees her new haircut for the first time. At this point, the reader doesn't know how Jim will react or how the plot will be resolved. Jim could either support her decision of selling her hair for him or be upset and confused.
After taking a moment to consider her haircut, Jim realizes that he still loves Della just as much and gives her a gift of expensive hair combs. He tells her he sold his watch to afford them. With no hair for the combs and no watch for the chain, the couple realizes gifts of unselfish love and sacrifice are more meaningful than materialistic objects.
We spent a lot of money of these expensive gifts for each other. However, in the end, the most important gifts are the acts of love that were shared.