The theme of ?The Gift of the Magi? is that the best gifts are those that are meaningful and given out of love and sacrifice. In this story Della?s most prized possession was her hair while Jim?s was his gold pocket watch. Since they are poor Della sells her hair to get Jim a fob for his pocket watch since he keeps it on a leather strap. Jim sells his watch to get Della the tortoise shell combs for her hair.
In the beginning Della has only one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy her husband Jim a gift for Christmas. Since they are poor Della tries extra hard to save a penny here and there and really wants to get Jim something really nice for Christmas. She doesn?t know what to do or what to get him. This is where the theme begins to get intertwined into the story. Here Della leaves to sell her hair and get the gift for Jim. She is sacrificing her greatest possession to get the one she loves a meaningful gift for Christmas.
After Della finds the perfect watch fob she returns home. She cannot wait for Jim to come home to give him this gift. When he arrives at the apartment he is stunned at the sight of Della. After all he did get her the combs for her hair. She dismisses the reaction and gives him the watch chain. Jim is thoroughly saddened and tumbles onto the couch in distress. Della finds out why when Jim gives her the combs. When they discover that they both sold their greatest possessions to get each other something for those possessions the theme grows. Now the reader knows that the best gifts are given out of sacrifice and love.