The Washington Post had a reader submission request out. What was the best last-minute Christmas gift you ever gave? But initially, I read it wrong and took it to mean presents I had received. OK, selfish me. But some impelling experiences came to me.
I was penniless and frequently on the road in the 1960s. There were times when getting enough to eat and a couch to surf upon were the overriding concerns on my mind. So I reflect on some of the things that meant so much at the time:
- An animal hospital forgiving the cost of vet care on the Grey Menace one Christmas – needless to say, I’ve repaid that many times in annual gifts since, happily.
- The gift of a set of guitar strings; the ones on my guitar were dying or dead, and I had a gig to perform.
- A Christmas evening dinner when the Gray Menace and I were too poor to buy groceries that week;
- My first real girlfriend gave me a set of earmuffs because I was on the road in lightweight clothing.
The best things do not have to be the most expensive, nor the ones you asked for. Instead, they are the ones you need and never thought to ask for.