THE GIFT OF THE MAGI
Della: What do you think, honey? It is not the most wonderful, but the most delightful tree of any Christmas any where? Jim: Well…
Jim: It is…most original. But the fact that we couldn’t afford to buy anything. Sometimes not even enough food! And especially not Christmas gifts. I’ve worked hard and I’m earning more money now, but back then I was only making…$30 a week. Della: Honey, don’t worry about that! Although we do not have the largest goose, or a lot of gifts, we have the most glorious tree. (The tree falls over.)
Della: Oh my ghost!!!
Jim: Oh, no problem, my dear. I’ll set it up right now (Smile). (Sets the tree up, steps away from it)
Jim: You see, you have a wonderful husband who can put anything to rights. (The tree falls over again. Della laughs)
Jim: You’re laughing at me.
Della: At both of us.
Jim: And why is that?
Della: Because we work so hard for our happiness. And sometimes even against the laws of gravity. Jim: But we are happy, laws or no laws.
(Both of them smile. Suddenly, Jim kisses on Della’s hair) Jim: Della, you look so lovely! I love your hair. It was the first thing I noticed about you when I met you. I loved it then, and now it’s even longer and more beautiful than it was. Della: But my hair is less valuable than your grandfather’s watch! The dearest thing you have. Jim: However I have no chance to wear it.
Della: Oh, Jim, your watch should have a beautiful long chain and fob, so you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed about showing it off Jim: But you are more valuable to me…than any thing…that I…own. (Della looks at the watch. It’s 7g30 o’clock)
Della: Oh, it’s too late. You have to go to work right now. Jim: Oh, I forget. See you later. (kissing on Della’s cheek) Della: (coming to the house and looking out the window)
Jim: (on the way to work and seeing the Christmas atmosphere on the street) Della: Tomorrow will be Christmas! I will buy a special gift for my husband and make Jim surprise at it. (She begins to count the money)
Della: Five cents, nine cents, fourteen, twenty-four, twenty-seven…one dollar seventy, seventy-five, six, seven, eight, nine, dollar eighty, eighty-five, six seven. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. Surely that can’t be all. But I have counted it three times, it doesn’t change a thing. It’s still one dollar and eighty-seven cents. I’ve been saving all my pennies, nickels and dimes for months so that I could buy Jim something really special this Christmas. I saved these coins by bargaining with the grocer, the vegetable man, the butcher, the baker or even the candlestick maker. Della: One dollar and eighty-seven cents? That’s it? I knew that I hadn’t saved nearly as much as I wanted to, but…a dollar eighty-seven? I couldn’t possibly buy Jim anything with that! (Della sits at the table recounting the money yet again. Jim, elsewhere on the stage counts from his pocket into his hand) Jim: One dollar. A dollar ten, twenty, thirty, thirty-five,… (Look in another pocket)
Jim: Thirty-six, seven, eight.Wait, wait!!!
(Tries a third pocket)
Jim: A nickel and a penny. One dollar and forty-six cents.
Della: one dollar, eighty-seven cents (Della look so sad and cry) Jim: Poor Della. She deserves a nice Christmas gift! However, what of her Christmas with one dollar and forty-six cents? What have I done? What a miserable, thoughtless, self-serving, heartless creature I am. What on earth can be done? Jim: I will miss it so much, but…but it will all be worth it to give Della the kind of Christmas…that she really deserves. And after all, it was just a pocket watch… a valuable, family heirloom pocket watch. Well, it doesn’t matter! No pocket watch could ever be more important to me than my Della. Della (look at the mirror and comb her hair): Oh, why don’t I exchange my hair for a meaningful gift for my husband? Oh, no…I can’t I can’t… It’s so terrible if I cut my hair! I can’t imagine anyone cutting off their hair...
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