I think, though, that I understand why some English teachers in high schools and colleges are dumbing down their curriculum and studying only recent "literature" (in quotes because I am dubious that today's fiction will stand the test of time). I don't think there are many romantics in the under 40 crowd nowadays, and it really takes a romantic to understand this story.
In the story, Jim and Della are young - Jim is but 22. I think the average age of men getting married now is about 27 or 28. Today's young adult might wonder why they were so silly as to marry so young. They have a cheap apartment they can barely afford - why not move in with parents or rent part of a decent house shared by various people with tenuous realtionships? And the best Della can do to help with household finances is to deal parsimoniously with the butcher? Get a job, lady!
Add to this modern practicality the reality of credit cards making scrimping for months to buy one special gift an obsolete concept. And with our "disposable" lifestyle of no-fault divorce, I wonder if the majority of young adults today have any experience with the tender love that seeks to please another no matter the sacrifice.
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.