On Christmas Eve, Della Young discovers that she has only $1.87 to buy a present for her husband Jim. She visits the nearby shop of a hairdresser, Madame Sofronie, who buys Della's long hair for $20. Della then uses the money to buy a platinum pocket watch chain for Jim. When Jim comes home from work that evening, Della admits to him that she sold her hair to buy him the chain. Jim gives Della her present-- a set of ornamental combs, which she will be unable to use until her hair grows back out. Della gives Jim the watch chain, and he tells her that he sold the watch to buy the combs. While the gifts that Jim and Della can't be used, they know how far they want to show each other their love and how invaluable their love truly is. The story ends with the narrator comparing these sacrificial gifts of love with those of the biblical Magi.
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