Thursday, December 26, 2013

Horror Story: Gift of the Magi

Happy St. Stephen’s Day.  

Have you ever wondered what the song Good King Wenceslas has to do with Christmas? The answer is: nothing. St. Stephen’s Day is December 26, and Good King Wenceslas is a St. Stephen’s Day song, so it gets sung this time of the year.

On to the horror. 


public domain 

One of the most terrible stories I was told at school as a child was The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry. It seems this couple was very poor, but at least the husband had a gold watch that had been handed down from his grandfather. And the wife had beautiful brown hair that went past her knees.

In a desperate attempt to get enough money to buy her husband a Christmas present, the wife sold her hair. That’s right, she sold her hair. Then she used the money to buy a platinum chain for her husband’s watch. 

Meanwhile, the husband had sold his gold watch to buy a set of jeweled combs for her hair.

So on Christmas day, they had a chain for a watch they no longer had, and combs for hair that no longer existed.

All the adults thought this was a beautiful story. I think the girls thought it romantic.

I was horrified by this sequence of events that culminated in an ironic twist of fate.

So Merry Christmas to you, O. Henry, you sicko.

photo by Jane Art

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