Beat 1 – Trigger Event #1
It’s Christmas Eve. Our protagonists, Della and Jim Dillingham, are a poor, young married couple living in a small apartment. They only have two possessions “in which they both took a mighty pride”: Jim’s gold pocket watch (a family heirloom) and Della’s beautiful, long hair “shining like a cascade of brown waters.” After all of the month’s expenses, Della realizes she only has $1.87 for Jim’s gift and starts to cry.
Beat 2 – Turning Point #1
As she looks at herself in the mirror, Della has a burst of inspiration and rushes outside. She goes to a nearby store that sells hair and asks if they’ll buy hers. They offer her $20, which she gladly takes to shop for Jim. After a couple of hours of searching, she finds a beautiful platinum chain for $21 to pair with Jim’s pocket watch and happily heads home with 87 cents.