Joe Doe, nearing the conclusion to this year’s 52 Tasks to becoming a better man, wants you to do something selfless.
“Love is what you’ve been through with someone.” – James Thurber
I have three favorite Christmas movies. 1) It’s A Wonderful Life. 2) White Christmas. And 3) Christmas Story. I cry when I watch the first two, and laugh my ass off at Christmas Story. And cry a little too.
But the one that tore me up the most was a television version of “The Gift of the Magi”. I saw it one snowy night years ago. It was in black and white and sort of cheesy, but I will never forget it.
Do you know that story? It’s about this poor married couple who live in a New York tenement, circa 1890. The husband loves his pocket watch. Loves it. It’s his prized possession. And there’s his wife. She has long blonde hair that cascades around her shoulders. She loves her hair. It defines her. But she needs the proper combs and clips to manage her hair.
The story is set on Christmas Eve. Neither husband or wife have any money to buy each other a gift.
On Christmas morning they kneel by their tree. They hand each other small wrapped presents. The husband smiles and opens his box. Inside is a watch fob for his gold pocket watch. The fob will allow him to attach the watch to his belt and proudly display it. The wife beams–she knows it’s the perfect gift. Then she opens her present. Inside is a set of combs inlayed with mother-of-pearl.
The husband’s eyes light up. He knows he has given her the perfect gift.
Then the wife take off her night scarf. Her hair is gone! She sold it to buy the watch fob. The husband smile ruefully and reaches into his pocket for his watch. He shows her his empty palm–he sold the watch to pay for the combs.
The fall into each other’s arms. She doesn’t have her hair, and he doesn’t have his watch, but they have each other.
Selfless sacrifice. That’s what the Christmas spirit embodies.
The greatest gift is the gift of love. Your task is simple. You are going to write a love note to every person you love. You are going to tell them WHY you love them and HOW you love them. And deliver the note in person. Then look them in the eye and TELL them that you love them.
Merry Christmas. Joe Doe
Photo Credit: Demi-Brooke