Skip ahead many years until last year, when my own daughter, who was then 15, said the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a raccoon.
Not a stuffed or toy raccoon, mind you, but an honest-to-Pete real raccoon.
Considering the story I just shared, it's not hard to guess where we're headed.
I already owned a little black Halloween mask. All I needed were bones.
Though I'm not a stickler for authenticity, I hopped onto eBay, curious as to whether someone might be selling raccoon bones.
There were three.
It's a strange country we live in that there's a competitive market for varmint remains. Even stranger that I got outbid all three times.
I settled for the carcass of a Sam's Club rotisserie chicken and the presumption that my girl wouldn't look all that close. A gamble well-played.
When my girl tore off the wrapping paper and read the box and then peeked cautiously inside, she laughed every bit as hard as I did all those years ago.
I suspect a family tradition is being established.
Especially considering this year's long shopping list and tight budget and need for creative thinking. Adding to that, my nephew Zak also turns 21 on Christmas Day.
When I asked my niece if she had any ideas what to get her brother for Christmas and his birthday, she said there's only one thing he wants.
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com.