It’s The Thought That Counts

gift-of-the-magi_-mailchimpWho among us does not remember the parental admonition “It’s not the gift, but the thought that counts”? I always think of my mother and my proper upbringing at this time of year. I re-live the powerful Gift of the Magi story and revel in the beauty of the sacrificial spirit of love between a young man who sells his gold watch to buy a comb for his wife’s beautiful hair.  Meanwhile, sadly, she has cut and sold her hair to buy her husband a fob for his prized gold watch. The story was written by O’Henry in 1905 and is reminiscent of the wise men who brought gifts to the Baby Jesus, thus starting the ritual of gift giving at Christmas time. I thought, once again, about this tale when a man came into our offices at ArtsWestchester to rent a studio for his wife, an artist.  It was to be a surprise. He told us that his wife had been pursuing her artistic career at a home studio, but it was time for her to get a ‘real” studio. There’s no gold watch or hair comb in this story.  Perhaps there is a sacrifice.  I’ll never know.  But, for now, it’s a loving husband who wanted to surprise his wife with a meaningful gift. Then again, it was also that gentle nudge from my mother telling me to remember that a gift really is about the thought.  To get into the spirit of giving from the heart, I suggest a ticket to The Gift of the Magi directed by Bram Lewis, currently playing at the Schoolhouse Theater in Croton.  After that, please have a very merry holiday, which ever one you celebrate.

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