Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Gift of the Magi

This is one of my favorite Christmas stories.~ It is too long to quote directly here but this is the whole idea:~~~~~~Della sold her hair to buy Jim a chain for his watch.~Jim sold his watch to buy her combs for her hair.~~~~~~The Magi, as you know, were wise men-wonderfully wise men-who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger.~They invented the art of giving Christmas presents.~Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication.~And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.~But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.~O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.~Everywhere they are wisest.~They are the magi.~~~~~~O. Henry

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Innkeeper's Lament

"Oh, if only I had known!"~said the keeper of the inn.~"But no hint to me was shown.~And I didn't let them in.~~~~~~"Yes, a star gleamed overhead,~But I couldn't read the skies,~And I'd given every bed ~To the very rich and wise.~~~~~~"And she was so poorly clad,~And he hadn't much to say!~But no room for them I had,~So I ordered them away.~~~~~~She seemed tired, and it was late~ And they begged so hard, that I ,~Feeling sorry for her state,~In the stable let them lie.~~~~~~"Had I turned some rich man out~Just to make a place for them,~'Twould have killed, beyond a doubt,~All my trade at Bethlehem.~~~~~~"Then there came the wise men three~To the stable, with the morn,~Who announced they'd come to see~The great King who had been born.~~~~~~"And they brought Him gifts of myrrh,~Costly frankincense and gold,~And a great light shone on her ~In the stable, bleak and cold.~~~~~~"All my patrons now are dead ~And forgotten, but today~All the world to peace is led~By the ones I sent away.~"It was my unlucky fate~To be born that inn to own,~Against Christ I shut my gate - Oh, if only I had known!"