The Gift of the Magi

gift of the magiHave you ever thought long and hard about what would be the prefect Christmas gift for someone you love? This story by William Porter, better known by the O. Henry, is one of the most famous Christmas stories of all time. It has featured in movies, TV specials, musicals, an opera and several cartoon series. It tells how a poor couple each sell their most valuable possession in order to buy a Christmas present that they feel is good enough for the one they love.

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pen name(n: pen-name pl pen-names) A name used by a writer instead of his or her real name.

The Fir Tree

the fir treeThis story by the Danish poet and writer Hans Christian Andersen is about a tree that grows up never being satisfied with what it looks like or what it is doing. There is only one day in the tree’s life (a Christmas ) that it feels truly happy. The tree doesn’t see until too late that there were many other days in its life that it also should have enjoyed. This leads to a sad ending which is enough to make you never want to have a real Christmas tree!

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(n: Eve pl Eves) The day or evening before a special holiday or festival, such as Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, etc. 3000

The Philanthropist’s Christmas

the philanthropist's christmasJ.W. Linn taught English at the University of Chicago. He wrote a well-known of his famous aunt Jane Addams, but very little fiction. In this story, a rich man who helps people by giving a lot of money to charity learns an important lesson about the real joy of giving when he becomes part of a poor family’s Christmas.

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(n: biography pl biographies) The story of a real person's life written by someone other than that person. 6000
(n: biographer pl biographers) A person who writes someone's biography. 10000
(n: autobiography pl autobiographies) The story of a person's life written by himself. 6000