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December 16, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: The Christmas List

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This year, I have been a little disturbed my stepdaughter Gabrielle hasn’t wanted anything for Christmas. In the past, she’s been flush with wishes and so each year, her Christmas list is a big production. I require her to write her demands out on a fresh sheet of 8 x 11 paper and I’m usually given a crooked, charmingly misspelled list whose letters alternate in red and green ink.

But this year, Gabrielle Baker, 13 and three quarters in age, was stumped.

“I don’t know what I want,” she snarked impatiently when I asked her for the tenth time for her list.

That prompted me to snark back: “If you don’t want anything, maybe it’s a sign you have too much.”

Following that guilt-ridden remark, which didn’t exactly earn me the ‘Stepmother of the Year’ badge, she came down the steps the next morning with two requests: a new fleece and an Origami Owl necklace.

I had learned about the Origami Owl phenomenon through Facebook and seen the little necklaces strung around a few of my friends’ necks. The heart of the concept is a see-through locket within which you can place little charms that define you in some way. Perhaps a little piano if you play the piano, a suitcase if traveling is your thing.

After her request, I got to work. I knew my friend Meredith sold the necklaces and asked her if she could put one together for Gabrielle.

She instead offered to come to our house with all of her Origami Owl loot so Gabrielle could put one together herself.

I’m big into surprises at Christmas, but I had a suspicion I might be seen as slightly more cool in the 13 and three quarters’ eyes if she knew I had a friend who could set her up right. So I told Meredith to come on over and yesterday she arrived with a big bag of charms.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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