I need to get Jim a Christmas gift, but I only have $1.87!
Will you buy my hair?
I'll give you $20 for it.
Buying the Chain
How much for this?
Della's conflict is that she wants to get Jim a very nice gift for Christmas, but she doesn't have enough money.
It doesn't make me like my girl any less.
My hair grows fast Jim!
Della goes out to sell her hair, so that she can afford a Christmas gift for Jim.
The Gift Exchange
I sold my watch for your combs.
I sold my hair for your chain.
Della finds a chain that she can afford, and it is a good gift for Jim because he doesn't have one for his watch.
Della, let's put our Christmas presents away and keep'em awhile. They're too nice to use just at present.
The climax is when Jim sees Della's short hair for the first time because we don't know if Jim will like her haircut or not.
The resolution is that Jim and Della both sell one of their belongings to get a gift for the other person. Della cut her hair, and received combs. Jim sold his watch, and received a chain for his watch.
The theme is sacrifices are worth it for the people you love.