Sometimes, the best Christmas gifts are things that you didn't want, but are very glad to get anyway.
Such a gift came to me a little more than two weeks ago.
Between 2:30-3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23, in a parking lot on West 86th Street in Indianapolis, I was unloading some paper grocery sacks full of books from my car.
I was planning to sell them at Half Price Books to see what money I could get for them instead of just donating them to charity. I did it as part of my move from my old apartment to my new apartment.
As I was putting the bags on a cart the store lent me, an overweight woman came up and said, "Are you planning to sell those books?"
I was tired because I woke early that day to do several chores related to my move. And when I get tired, I often get angry.
I thought No bitch, I'm fucking putting these book on a fucking cart for my own fucking health. Why the fuck do you want to know?
But I held my tongue. I wasn't that angry. Besides, it was still the Christmas season; peace on Earth and good will toward men would still apply at least for me.
"Would you take $80 for your books?" she asked.
"Hell yes!" I said, taking the assured money, because the price I had received before for books I've taken to Half Price Books has varied greatly. One time I had taken six grocery sacks full of books and only got $40 for them.
(Note: Recently I took four grocery sacks full of books and a half-full sack to Half Price for sale. I received a bid of $37 for them.)
I helped the woman put the books into the trunk of her car. She said her company, a radiology business on the northwest side of Indianapolis, donated books for U.S. military personnel overseas.
So that was my Christmas present for the season. My brothers, their families, and I don't exchange gifts. And my parents, in the last few years before they died, gave us money instead of gifts.