A homeless Boston man said "thinking of the meaning of Christmas" led him to turn a wallet he found containing $172 over to police.

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Brian Christopher, 49, a homeless Navy veteran, said he found the wallet Monday while walking near City Hall and looked inside to find it contained $172 but no credit cards or IDs, The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

"I counted the money and said, 'Wow, I could probably get three nice presents with this,'" said Christopher, who has three children, ages 10, 12 and 14, who live with their mother in Maryland. "But maybe it was some student's Christmas gift money. I just kept thinking of the meaning of Christmas."

Christopher said he took the wallet to the police station after seeking advice over the phone from a friend in Las Vegas and Renee MacLean, his case manager at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans.

Police said they found a receipt inside the wallet with a name and phone number. The owner, bike messenger Meghan Schultz, 22, of Cambridge, said she received Christopher's phone number from police.

"I wanted to see if I could take him out to lunch," she said. "It's not like I have a ton of spending money but I can afford this."