Gifts for Madge and Guy

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#5: “Gifts for Madge and Guy”
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Luke 2:1-20

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Matthew 1:18-25
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

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Gifts for Madge and Guy

“Gifts for Madge and Guy” is episode #5 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar and Steve Harris, and originally aired on December 19, 1987.


Whit tells the people in Whit's End a story about Madge and Guy, who are willing to sacrifice their most treasured possessions for one another.


It's Christmastime at Whit's End. Whit, Tom, and Officer Harley are setting up the tree, and Connie is doling out hot chocolate. Two of the kids are arguing about the meaning of giving gifts. Whit tries to convince them that "it's not the gift but the thought that counts," and "it's more blessed to give than to receive." When the kids scoff at this, Whit comically presents for them the O. Henry story, Gift of the Magi, told in the style of a "Fractured Fairy Tale."

Madge, a very poor woman, is upset over how she can't afford to buy a really nice Christmas present for "her guy, Guy." Her mother, Ethel, tries to convince her to go to get her hair cut at Pop's Top Notch Top Shop for twenty dollars. Madge is hesitant because her long, silky hair that falls almost to the floor is one of the two most prized possessions that are shared between the couple. The other is Guy's antique, familial heirloom watch, with a beautiful case, ivory face plate, and whenever opened, plays a touching little melody.

Madge that decided to go shopping to take her mind off her dilemma. However, while she walked past Fishbine's Jewelers she saw a beautiful gold chain in the display window that would go perfectly with Guy's watch. She asked Morty Fishbine how much the chain would cost. It turned out to be a valuable heirloom, but it would be sold for $20. Madge decided to take drastic action and go to Pop's Top Notch Tops shop to have her hair cut for the twenty dollars she needed.

On her way back to Fishbine's Jewelers, she found the store was closed and that the chain was packed away for a New Year's Day sale. Just as she starts to cry, and since Mr. Fishbine can't stand a woman crying, he allows her to buy the chain. After an hour long confusion about "her guy, Guy," she raced home in the snow to wrap her gift with wallpaper.

Guy walks in soon afterward and doesn't recognize her at first because her hair is cut. He is astonished that she would cut her hair but understands the situation. The main reason Guy was so surprised was because of his gift to her, which was a set of combs made from pure tortoise shell with jeweled rims. She had wanted these combs for years and is delighted to have them. Madge then gives the gold watch chain to Guy. He then tells her that he sold the watch so that way he could buy Madge's combs. The story ends with them leaving together, more in love than ever.

Whit explains that although neither of them expected such generous gifts, they were both willing to sacrifice to give a special gift to the other. That is what real giving is about.


  1. Madge & Guy sacrificed their greatest possession for one another. Have you ever sacrificed to give someone a gift?
  2. Why is sacrifice important?
  3. What is the greatest gift you have ever received?
  4. The greatest gift you've ever given?
  5. Have you accepted God's gift of eternal life?



VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] A longer discussion between Madge and Guy is used in some versions of this episode, such as in the 20th anniversary broadcast. The longer version is not included in the album releases.

  • The name of the wig store changes from "Pop's Top-notch Tops" to "Pop's Top-notch Top Shop".



Madge: Your face! What is it?
Guy: Oh, it's just this thing I keep on the front of my head. You know, a couple of eyes, a nose, a mouth...

Guy: Come on, I've got a few cents left over! Let's go down to that little place on the corner and split a child's portion, diet-mini-cheeseburger!
Madge: Mmmm!

Ethel: It's right here in the want ads.
Madge: Want ads?
Ethel: No thank you, I've got some right here.

Madge: Is this Pop's Top Notch Top Shop?
Pop: Nice delivery.

Ethel: Why Madge darling! Are you crying? What is it?
Madge: It's when your face gets all red and tears run down your cheeks.
Ethel: No, no, dear. I mean, what's the matter?
Madge: You mean besides the fact that it's Christmas Eve and I haven't done any shopping and even if I did I couldn't buy what I want because what I want is something really special and all the money I have in the world is one dollar and eighty-seven cents?
Ethel: Yeah, besides that!
Madge: Nothing!