How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Sookie St. James and Jackson Belleville

Sookie St. James had a single holiday wish: to make enough extra money to take the entire family to Walt Disney World.

“I never knew you were into Disney,” Lorelai said, casually munching on one of the popcorn garlands Sookie was stringing for the Dragonfly Inn’s Christmas trees.

“Of course I’m into Disney,” Sookie said. “I have four children. My house has more princesses than Will and Kate’s wedding.”

“Okay, okay,” Lorelai said. She looked down at what was in her hand. “Should I be eating this?”

Sookie laughed. “I made that one extra just for you.”

The popcorn garland wasn’t the only extra treat Sookie was cooking up. The next day, she arrived at Miss Patty’s dance studio with a mysterious-looking basket, out of which she pulled a still-warm pumpkin pie.

“Aren’t pumpkin pies a Thanksgiving dessert?” Miss Patty asked.

“They’re in ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’,” Sookie said.

Miss Patty leaned back on her stool. “Did I ever tell you about the time Brenda Lee and I smoked a hookah together?”

“Will you just take a pie?” Sookie said. “I’m trying to raise money to take my family to Walt Disney World.”

“Oh, sure,” Miss Patty said, handing Sookie a $20. “Since it’s Christmas.”

Sookie’s next stop was Luke’s Diner.

“I make my own pies,” Luke said. “And aren’t pumpkin pies a Thanksgiving thing?”

“They’re in ‘Sleigh Ride’,” Sookie said.

Luke scowled. “What’s ‘Sleigh Ride’?”

“It’s the Christmas song that has the horse in it,” Sookie said. “Just buy a pie.”

$40 richer, Sookie headed towards Taylor’s soda shop. Kirk was outside, dressed as a candy cane.

“Kirk, would you like a pumpkin pie?”

“You mean the classic Christmas dessert, as described in ‘(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays’ by Allen and Stillman?”

“Yes, Kirk, that kind of pie.” Sookie held the pie in front of the candy cane’s eye-holes. “I’m selling pies so I can take my family to Walt Disney World for Christmas.”

“Hang on,” Kirk said, walking towards the soda shop door. “My money is in my other costume.”

At the end of the day, Sookie had sold twenty-five pies and earned $500. That was enough to take four of them to Walt Disney World for one day, but there were six St. Clair-Bellevilles who needed tickets. It was time to start baking.

But when Sookie went out to the shed where Jackson had stacked his fall pumpkin harvest, she found it empty.

“It was full of pumpkins yesterday!” Sookie said to Lorelai. “And then they were all gone!”

“Maybe you have a fairy godmother problem,” Lorelai quipped, aiming one finger towards the bowl of chocolate frosting Sookie was stirring together.

“Use a spoon,” Sookie said, dipping one into the bowl and handing it to Lorelai. “And that’s all you get.”

Sookie checked the shed a few more times before Christmas, but the missing vegetables never re-appeared. She thought of asking Jackson about them, but she had wanted the Walt Disney World trip to be a surprise. Instead, she kept her $500 in cash carefully tucked away in the back of her sock drawer, in an envelope labeled Disney??? Maybe they would go next year.

“You know, Jackson,” Sookie said on Christmas Eve, “I had a special plan for this Christmas, and I’m a little disappointed it didn’t work out.”

“What kind of plan?” Jackson asked.

“Well, I wanted to raise a little extra money,” Sookie said, “and so I started selling a bunch of pumpkin pies, but…”

“So that’s where my pumpkins went! I knew there were more pumpkins in that shed!”

“Well, there were, until I went in one day and they were all gone!”

“That’s because I took them so I could sell them to people, except I was 25 pumpkins short!”

“You never sell those pumpkins, after Thanksgiving,” Sookie said. “Most of them get turned into fertilizer.”

“Not this year,” Jackson said, laughing. “This year I wanted a little extra money, so I took them around and sold them as Christmas pumpkins. Like in all those carols.”

“The carols are about pumpkin pie, not pumpkins,” Sookie said. “I wanted to make extra money by selling pumpkin pie!”

“Wow, that would have been a better idea,” Jackson said. “It’s a shame that we didn’t communicate with each other at all about this. What did you want the extra money for?”

Sookie opened up her sock drawer and took out the envelope. “I wanted to take the whole family to Walt Disney World.”

Jackson reached into his back pocket and pulled out his own envelope. “So did I.”

Sookie couldn’t help it—she started crying. “How much money you got there?”

“A little over two grand,” Jackson said.

“Two grand?!”

“Produce sales is my job,” Jackson said. “Plus I sold more than just the pumpkins. But two grand still isn’t enough to get six people to Disney World.”

“Would”—Sookie took the cash out of her envelope—“would $2,500 be enough?”

Jackson smiled. “It just might be.”

The two of them kissed, and then Jackson said “Really, it’s all about how many days we stay at the parks and whether we’re able to find cheap enough motels. I’ve got a cousin down in Orlando that we could stay with, but we might have to rent a car… I wonder if there’s a bus? Or maybe we could take the bus to Florida instead of flying!”

“Shhh,” Sookie said, putting her finger on Jackson’s lips. “Don’t ruin the Christmas magic.”

Previously in How Gilmore Girls Do Money: Emily Gilmore

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