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December 3, 2012 / Zoe

C Is For Christmas Story.

My favourite Christmas story when I was a kid was (and still is) The Gift of the Magi. Do you know it? If you don’t, it’s pretty short, so click on the link above and have a read. It might make you cry, particularly if you’re emotional and miss your boyfriend because he’s away for work for two weeks.

The story is of a poor couple who each desperately want to buy their loved one a present for Christmas, and to allow them to do so they sell their most prized possession. The twist *spoilers!* is that the wife sells her hair to buy her man a watch chain, and he sells his watch to buy her beautiful combs for her hair.

It triggers such a strange mix of emotions for me, I find the irony heart-breaking, but the sentiment is wonderfully romantic and uplifting. It really is the spirit of Christmas, for me anyway. I’m not religious, so, to me, this holiday is about sacrifice and generosity for the people you love, and if you’re lucky enough to be in a position to do so, people you don’t even know.

When I read the story as a child I was amazed at the selflessness of both of them, I thought that that’s what true love must be, and I wondered if I could ever find it. I wondered if it even existed.

This is our 6th Christmas together, and every year just keeps getting better. We have our own little traditions now, and it feels like we’re already a family, even with just the two of us, plus the kitties. I wish I could buy him the world, but it’s no secret that we’ve been under financial stress for a few years now, because of my mental health, crazy vet bills, and past financial mistakes still biting our butts.

This week when I was grocery shopping I neglected to buy bananas and soy milk for my morning smoothie, so I could save a few dollars to go towards gifts for Matt. I nearly burst into tears in the supermarket (did I mention that I’ve been feeling emotional!) when I thought of this story and realised I’d found it, that self-sacrificing love that 15 years ago I wasn’t sure existed. Yes, it’s a small sacrifice, but I know that I would sell my hair for him too. In our modern retelling, I would sell my sewing machine to buy him a camera bag. And the thing that makes my heart burst is that I know that he would sell his camera to buy me a foot for my sewing machine.

What’s your favourite Christmas story?

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2 Comments

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  1. Sue Kennedy / Dec 5 2012 6:26 am

    I’ve been trying to think of some other Christmas story I like, but its still ‘The Gift of the Magi’. I came across a copy when i was clearing out the cubby a couple of days ago! O. Henry wrote marvelous short stories, but the gift story is probably my favourite of those, too.

    • Zoe / Dec 5 2012 9:30 am

      I’ll have to get his book/s from the library, that’s the only one I know. I also want to read some Edith Wharton short stories.

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