In order to be a Sherrick, you have to be willing to deal with traditions. I don’t mean the OCD type where you have to touch the laundry basket 17 times before you can go to sleep or lick the doorknob before you can eat dinner, but in my family there tends to be two types of things: the stuff that you do and The Way Things Are.

The stuff you do is the superfluous crap that goes with living, you know, laundry and work and sleeping and all that stuff, but The Way Things Are, well, this is DOGMA. TRADITION.

And you don’t fuck with TRADITION in my family. The square root of 4 is 2, Helium is the second element on the periodic table of elements and we have basil pesto mashed fucking potatoes on Thanksgiving. ALWAYS.

My brother, my father and my two- year old seem to be the most affected by this DOGMA of The Way Things Are. While I’m happy to try something different, like let’s say The Cheesecake of the Gods rather than my normal Bourbon Pecan Pie, well, that messes with the balance of the universe and well, we can’t have THAT. The universe might IMPLODE because I dared change tradition!

I have my own DOGMA of The Way Things Are, but I’m a little looser with my interpretation of it.

Every year, we sponsor a child from The Giving Tree at Ben’s school. And while my far more rigid BROTHER might have to sponsor the same GENDER or AGE bracket, I’m content to randomly choose one. Last year Dave chose a boy around Benner’s age who wanted socks. SOCKS. I know. I KNOW.

This year I chose a girl whose age was unspecified. I chose her and my eyes filled with tears, much like they always do every single year when I choose a kid from the tree.

Maybe it’s because I think of Christmas as such a magical time for children and I remember how much it hurt the year that I couldn’t afford any toys for Ben because I was so poor. Or maybe it’s because I remember having Christmas taken away from me as a punishment. Or maybe it’s because I think about how hard it must be to be on the other side as a child.

I cried there, though, as I picked up the tag with the gift choice on it because it was what I was going to get my daughter. No age, no identifying characteristics, just a parallel into my own life:

Baby Doll.

Amelia loves the baby dolls that we have, but those aren’t her dolls, they belong to Alex and Ben who begrudgingly share them. So I’d been planning to get her a doll for Christmas. In fact, I’d already been up and down the aisles at my boyfriend, Target searching for the perfect doll, so proud that I could finally go down the Pink Aisles at last.

Friday, Black Friday, we have another DOGMA TRADITION where we go out that evening to Target, my home away from home, to score some cheap DVD’s and see what they still have on sale. While we were there, I noticed that they had this baby doll and accessories pack on sale for half off which I promptly snatched up from the vultures in the toy aisle for my Giving Tree Girl.

This thing was AWESOME. I was admiring it as we walked along because it was precisely the sort of thing my hippie mother never would have bought me, eschewing it in favor of some wooden, anatomically correct doll I would have lobbed out the window. It had everything, though, crib, car seat, high chair and stroller along with assorted bottles and outfits.

I tend to go a little overboard for my Giving Tree Kids because it makes me feel good and why not?

We got it home and I left it on the floor downstairs so that I remembered to wrap it and send it back to school with Ben because I am FULL of The Forgetful. In the whirlwind of unpacking after Thanksgiving Part II, I didn’t really notice it until she was on top of it, but my daughter had made a beeline for the box with the baby inside.

She had pulled herself up on it and was trying her damnedest to get the baby out. Every side she explored, looking for a way in and OH was she pissed when she realized that she couldn’t get at it. I really hope that my Giving Tree Girl loves it as much as my daughter did.

Everyone had teased me that my daughter was going to eschew anything girly to be a tomboy like her brothers, just because I wanted her to be girly, and maybe that’s going to happen.

Then again, maybe not.

Mimi Tutu

Let’s talk about how much I need that hat in my size, Internet, because I SO do.

Mimi Tutu 2!

Those shoes are for Binky Spohr, but Amelia dug them out and loves them. They’re much too small for her, but you know, a girl loves what a girl loves.

140 thoughts on “Sunny, With A Chance Of Tutu’s

  1. Okay, first of all, where did you get that hat? That’s awesome. I’m making my daughter be as girly as possible for the moment…she can rebel and wear pink camo later.

    Christmas has a way of putting emotions on high, doesn’t it? I hope this one is wonderful for you, your family and the Giving Tree girl.

  2. Your post made me nod aggressively, Aunt Becky, because my new husband’s family is like that. Everyone HAS TO eat THE SAME THING at festive meals, which is really fun for me because I have dietary restrictions not shared by my husband’s family. But his parents would rather SPEND TWO DAYS shopping for, researching, and preparing a special meal that we can all eat simultaneously–calling me every few hours to double-check on ingredients–than make me a bowl of spaghetti, like everyone else I know does.
    I love all of Amelia’s clothes, btw.

  3. Without my help my child has become the girl of all girls. Shoes are her first mention in the morning and when she’s at home she has no less than 4 purses on her arm at all times 🙂

  4. Sigh…I am bitter and angry about Christmas, so, yeah. But A’s hat is adorable, I love the shoes, and wish (now) that I could have one more little girl.

    I am a tradionalist. I don’t care what else is on the table, and I will try most anything, but there goddamn well better be stuffing. And not that slimy shit you stuff up the turkey’s as because, well, eww, and not the dry crimbly cornbread stuff, but Stove Top, baby, with an apple and nuts and some extra celery and onions sauteed in butter and garlic added in. Nothing says homemade goodness than a boxed item with added ingredients.

  5. Aunt Becky you DO have a heart! Amelia is awesome I miss the tiny shoes, hats etc. I have to talk mine out of the gold disco jacket like Hannah Montanas

  6. I am JUST like that when I pick a name from the giving tree. I cry because I hope someone would do the same for me if I needed it. (I do remember a family friend buying all our Christmas gifts the year my father was laid off.)

    Last year my mother drew a 13 year old girl who wanted a bra. She was a size 32GG. Not a size you find on the racks at Target. But, it was what she needed.

  7. Such adorable pictures as usual!!! That is so sweet of you to do the adopt a child thing. I have always wanted to do that, but I guess I’ll have to wait until the day when I can afford gifts for my own family!!

  8. The giving tree is a neccesary but sad place for me too. We scrimp and save to do the best for our kids at christmas but many often forget that some scrimp and save all year long to feed their children and christmas is just too much. I hope that your little reciever loves it as much as your daughter and damn it I am heading to the giving tree tonight because I just hadn’t gotten to that yet. Way to light the fire under my butt too.

  9. My inlaws try to get rid of traditional foods at every opportunity. You know how often I eat turkey? Once a year at Thanksgiving, so please do not mess with that. Also, stop adding fruit to stuffing. It’s supposed to be bread. To absorb the grease. As to the Cheesecake of the Gods? Well, that’s dessert, and that is open to anything and everything. I want 4 bites of turkey, a small spoonful of mashed potatoes, a bit of stuffing, I’ll eat the green bean casserole if I must, and then I want an entire buffet of desserts. 5 is not too many.

    Amelia is quite the cutie pie. And you can make your own hat – just go and buy a knit hat (I’ve seen ’em at Marshall’s) and a fake flower to bedazzle and put it all together.

    We usually adopt families at work, but I couldn’t get any motivation going to join in this year. So we’re just sending a check off to St. Jude’s.

  10. Also, my girl is not very girly. She likes her sparkly stuff once in a while, but I cannot get her to wear a dress. That’s OK – I’d rather have a tomboy. I understand them better.

  11. They’re supposed to put one of those trees up here at work – probably this week…I am so excited about shopping for someone on a tag, it’s not even funny.

  12. I have my dogma about some things, but food is not one of them. I love new & different things at holiday meals. That’s why I make reservations!

    We’re getting two kids from the giving tree this year, one for each boy to pick out a gift for. Usually we get one but last year they argued over who got to choose the gift.

  13. I’m always jealous of the things they make for little kids that they don’t for grownups. Ruby slippers? Hello! I need those! Green wellies with frog eye on the toes? Can I get those in a ladies size 9 please? Underoos? How smoking hot would a set of WonderWoman underoos be, eh? Shit, I missed the point again…

    1. ok… I had the shittyest Day EVER (hubby got laid off) but the thought of my fat ass (just had a baby) in underoos with green jellies on MADE ME LAUGH!! thanks. 🙂

      1. I’m sorry you had a bad day, but hey, I’m glad that you had a good laugh. Laughing is better than crying. Especially when you’re laughing at me. I’ve lost my voice and now every time I open my mouth, people laugh.

  14. I am so in love with Mimi’s hat!

    Also I’m wondering how many people get your title reference?

    We don’t have a giving tree here, so I don’t know where to get a kid. We are all out batty crazy in my family for Christmas. In the superficial way. But it makes us feel good, so why not?

  15. The hat is adorable. The tutu is even more cute. Hope you find the hat in your size soon. I’m sure it will look awesome on you.

    I always get emotional around Christmas when I’m in the spirit(which I might add I hate Christmas right now) I have been thinking of getting a angel off the salvation army Christmas tree and having all of my employee’s chip in and buy a present for a child from our business. Your story has inspired me to go ahead and do so.

    Thank you becky


  16. Okay, that hat? LOVE! And I am sure that the little girl will love the baby doll. Baby Doup is getting a baby doll this Christmas too, and I think I am more excited than her.

    Those shoes are fab too. Oh, and holy crap traditions for me too. Our family has a bazillion. Especially around Christmas.

  17. She is too freaking cute. It’s almost nauseating how cute she is.

    Everything makes me cry. I can’t stand it when Kent watches Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, I have to leave the room or I end up sobbing uncontrollably. It’s a little bit pathetic.

    We do the giving tree thing too but they don’t have one at Monkey’s school. It would be better, I think, if they did because then I would know it was going to someone in our immediate area. ANYWAY we usually get some names off the tree at one of the stores. Not picky about who, I just grab one. I was super extra poor when I was little and I’m pretty sure there were a few years that I wouldn’t have had any Christmas at all if someone hadn’t been kind enough to do that for us.

    1. It’s always good to feel like you’re paying it back. I remember being so poor that I couldn’t buy Ben anything and that feeling is really hideous. Hell, I couldn’t even pay for medication for myself. It was horrible.

  18. I picked out our Angel Tree kid yesterday. I try to get someone close to lil m’s age so she can be part of it. this year I picked a 12 year old girl who wants an outfit. That will be fun!
    My lil moonspun is a great mix of tomboy and girly…I love it!

  19. I want a hat like Mimis! Does it count if I try and make it myself?

    You’re so sweet to do the Giving Tree thing. We didn’t have one where I went to school and I’m no longer in school now, but I’m looking into adopting a family this year.

  20. OH GOOD! I thought it was only me and my family who was all, “THIS IS HOW IT IS, MY BITCHES, LET’S NOT GO MESSING WITH IT, ‘K?” Hence why we’ve had green bean casserole every g-d Thanksgiving even though no one really likes it.

    And I do the Same Damn Thing when picking a star off the Giving Tree at church, getting all snuffly and whatnot. It’s even worse when I have to drop the dogs back off at the shelter after taking them out for a run. OH THOSE FACES, NO, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THOSE FACES AND LICK MY HAND! SOB! (Cries most of the way home. Good times.)

    A couple of years ago my Star from TGT was a 12 year old boy who had not put ANY suggestions of what he wanted on his star. Having never been a 12 year old boy, I had no idea what to get him. I could give a guess at maybe what he wanted, but hi, it’s a church thing and PORN IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

  21. That hat! That tutu! That beautiful Amelia. She’s a lucky little lady to have you.

    So is the Giving Tree Girl.

    I’m still adjusting to the Pink Aisles. While I’m coming around on the clothes (and my daughter doesn’t nearly wear as many of her brother’s hand-me-downs as she once did), I don’t get nearly as excited about girly toys. Maybe I need a Giving Tree Girl.

  22. I’m OCD about commenting on your blog. I have to spin around three times in my office chair while patting my head and rubbing my stomach and whistling the theme to “Hawaii 5-O” before I can even think of leaving a comment.

  23. Growing up, My mom would always take me and my siblings to the local mall where they had a giving tree. She would let each of us choose a needy child to buy a gift for. I always enjoyed the entire experience, but haven’t particiapted in it for years.

    You may have just inspired me Bex! Frilly pink baby dolls for all;)

  24. Wow, you got shoes for Binky! How exciting. Are you going to deliver them or mail them? Can’t wait for 11 more weeks …..praying that Binky makes it that long. Maybe 11 more weeks and a couple of days for good measure.

    1. I do not know if I am going to hand deliver or mail them. Both, probably. I will probably mail then deliver myself by hand. WOW that made no sense. BINKY SPOHR, AUNTIE BECKY IS COMING FOR YOU.

  25. She is so adorable.

    We always do the Christmas tree thing to and I always go overboard with the presents, imagining how happy the boy or girl will be to get them. It always leaves me wishing that I could do more though.

    The thing my husband always “has to have” on Thanksgiving is canned cranberry sauce. He doesn’t even eat it, it just HAS to be there, or it’s not Thanksgiving.

  26. We have a giving tree for the local homeless youth shelter every year in our offices. Last year, I helped organize it, and was sending the “wishes” to our various offices. I couldn’t believe some of the things these poor kids asked for, tampons, baby bottles, diapers, soap, so many things that we just take for granted while shopping at the mecca that is Target, just essentials.

    We have always taken one, and gone all out. Last year, we took a girl asking for bottles for her baby, and bought bottles, blankets, sleepers, diapers, and a bunch of other stuff.

    We’ll do the same this year. With all the spoiling going on in my house, I always feel the need to spoil someone else, too.

    I love baby hats. Mimi, looks freaking adorable. I wish Mea could pull off a hat like that, her ponies always make her head look lumpy…

  27. I love doing the giving tree stuff too. And I get all teary and emotional over it as well. I try to keep it separate in my head from my cousin who is a giving tree receiver. Don’t keep having kids in hope of getting a Frank Jr. instead of girl after girl if you can’t afford them… But I digress.

    This year I chose two old guys over 80. The fact that an 85 year old man wants a new sweat suit is about to put me in tears again. Aren’t those supposed to be your golden years? Shouldn’t they be wearing shorts and wintering in FL?!

    LOVE Binky’s shoes!!!

  28. Another comment just reminded me!!! Growing up my mom did the giving tree stuff too. One year she got a radio for a kid. In my head I was like “how is the kid going to use the radio?!” I thought ALL poor kids lived in mud huts in Africa.

  29. Anytime you want to shop the pink aisle you can do so for me. I loathe the pink aisle. It took me 20 minutes (and a panic attack) to buy a doll for my daughter the first time (and hopefully the last) I had to do so. The pink aisle makes me nauseated. I hate pink.

  30. First, does her pacifer have bling? Because that’s pretty freakin’ awesome!

    Second–Too cute about her reaction to the doll. I highly recommend cabbage patch dolls. Cuddly and cute, but with hard plastic heads that are perfect for hitting siblings. I have over 20. They sleep in boxes under the bed and creep the hubby out.

    Third–How awesome to do a Giving Tree child! We need to start a tradition like that!

  31. Those giving trees are such a mixed bag of emotions. Like you said, I feel so bad for the kids that they aren’t experiencing a “normal” Xmas but I am thrilled to have the opportunity to provide them with something that might help make them happy.

  32. That hat, oh, that hat! It makes me want to eat that sweet baby up!!!

    My girls and husband are die-hard traditionalists, too. I thought a more dressed down Christmas would be a refreshing change, you know, not as much pimping out, more about the giving, less work for the Mamma…but when I suggested it, you would have thought I’d asked them to assassinate Santa! They were horrified.

    We live in an area of Florida filled with strawberry fields and orange groves. The migrant population here is very large, due to the fact that they can pick all year long. We devote all our Christmas giving to the migrant children who have so very little. One of the things the schools in the area do, are migrant share boxes where kids fill up plastic tubs with shampoo, soap, socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes and small toys for these children who consider essentials a real treat. It is very sad. We try to give as much as we can to these kids, the poorest part of our population in this area.

  33. I swear to God, it’s in the genes. One of my daughters was enchanted with leopard print. The child wanted leopard print everything. And she would do anything for a pair of black, shiny shoes. (Patent leather) AND, she wanted a bikini at about the age of two. She demanded one. WTF? You get what you get and I’m glad you got a girly-girl if you are only going to have one girl.

    1. I was a girly-girl from the get-go and my own hippie mother was horrified by it. She’d expected that I would happily lounge around in overalls and jeans, but I wanted patent leather shoes and frilly dresses to go hunt frogs in.

      Which, really, not much different than today.

  34. As usual I’m the only one who can relate to the high dysfunction of having my family withhold Christmas as punishment. What. The. Fuck. It’s always stayed with me and makes me even more gung-ho to make the holiday festive for my young ‘uns. Also, the adorability factor on Mimi is sky high. Seriously, get that girl an agent stat!

    1. I think that people who have highly dysfunctional families either blow up buildings or turn into maniacal Clark Griswold’s at Christmas Time.


  35. Mimi has the eyes of a little goddess. Those eyes are going to slay the boys (or girls, as the case may be) in massive herds in about 12 years.

    Also? I think that hat needs to be our Band Of Merry Pranksters Official Club Hat.

    And we always pick a kid from the tree or what have you and give extra. Everyone needs to feel special and remembered at the holidays.

  36. Is dysfunction a tradition, ’cause we have THAT in my family! hahaha

    I always have to fight the urge to just pick up the whole angel tree and take it home. The thought of a child not having a Christmas just kills me.

    1. It kills me too. I’ll go back closer to the Due By date and make sure all of the names are taken. Those that aren’t, well, I’ll make sure that they get something. No child should go without. Not on Christmas. I know gifts aren’t what it’s supposed to be about, but for kids, it’s so important.

  37. Oh my god she is so beautiful. I think I may have said that before in a comment….sue me I’m 36 and convinced I have early onset of dementia.

    The hat…I have no words for the hat. The adorableness of Amelia in the hat is beyond adorable. I’m quite good with descriptive words this evening, aren’t I?

  38. Look at the girly bling! Go Amelia!

    I’m trying to figure out if I’m more envious of having a girly-girl to indulge or being the girly-girl getting indulged.

    Pink all the time? Of course! Tutu’s? Uhh, hell yes it’s a WEDNESDAY, I mean, helllllo?? Now, where is that damn tiara…

  39. Squee! over the idea of Bourbon Pecan Pie.

    You’re Giving Tree girl is very lucky. We donate toys to Toys For Tots every year and it is so much fun picking things out to give. I grew up with a lot of kids who had their Christmas provided by charities (mine was too one year) and I know how much those toys mean to them.

    Amelia is so flipping adorable.

    1. Bourbon Pecan Pie is full of miracles and amazing. And The Giving Tree is SO much fun to buy for. I only hope this girl isn’t like 14, because she will not be impressed by the talking baby doll with a bazillion accessories.

  40. That is an awesome story, Becky, but what about those of us who have to lick the laundry hamper seventeen times before opening a door? Won’t somebody think of us?

  41. My almost 4 yr old daughter loves the Beanie Babies that were passed down from her big brother. There are about 5 of them she totes around and calls them “my babies”. “My babies don’t like that.” “My babies need coats on.” etc. It’s so funny!

    1. That is probably the cutest thing ever. My puppy Auggie loves Beanie Babies (and, really, all stuffed animals) and whenever he gets a hold of them, he carries them around like they are his babies. Gingerly, he carries them by the scruff from room to room.

      Honestly, it’s adorable.

  42. Your mother took away Christmas as a punishment? That absolutely takes my breath away. Really.

    I am constantly amazed at how cruel a person can be to their own child.

  43. Ummmmm, Aunty Becky? Yeah, it’s about your daughter.

    Making me twitchy. The adorableness ….. I wavered dangerously close to wondering what having a baby girl is like. She is SO SO BEAUTIFUL. My goodness.

    Binky Spohr is gonna ROCK those shoes out.


  44. I’m so jealous that you have a girl who loves sparkles, dolls, and girly schizz. My ovaries are aching from looking at those pictures. Too cute!

  45. I am more of a *lick the doorknob* kind of traditionalist as evidenced here

    Can I have the tutu…please? I really meant to put tutu on my card for the giving tree, but being 41 well you know I felt a little odd, also that is why I didn’t specify my age. I thought you might put the card back and pick someone else.

    1. You know what? I think you and I should make our OWN tutu’s and wear them proudly because they are SO COOL. Mimi owns TWO of them already because I love them so much. Also maybe, just maybe I am making up for my own childhood where my mom wanted me to be a tomboy so I never got a tutu.

  46. ok, this is my year to ‘soldier through’ a tough Christmas, divorcing and laid off with a 12 year old.
    And she is doing better than I am! I know too much pressure is put on this time of year, and I am doing it to myself, because we will be fine.

    on December 26th-

    you have a great blog, btw…

  47. Ah, she’s a girl who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. First it’s dolls and shoes, and then it’s bedazzled cell phones. 😉

  48. I get so, so emotional at Christmas. I want to blog about it, but I’ll be sued for laptops ruined by projectile vomit.

    I love watching my niece carry her babies around. Never one to limit herself, she adores babies AND Lightning McQueen, equally.

  49. So, the girl is cute and determined? You’re screwed when puberty hits 😉 I’ll take my hat in brown or gray, thank you very much. This bitch is way to pale to wear white on her head!

    I have to get out and find a Giving Tree this week. I always cry when I read what the kids want, and then I pick out the most expensive two I see, boy/girl, and put them in my purse. I figure they have the least chance of getting what they asked for, and it’s not like they’re being greedy. Sometimes, they’re just older kids, and a lot of people forget that they need something special on Christmas just as much as the wee ones do.

  50. So cute!!! We also do the giving tree thing at our school. We should be getting the info for our family any day now. Maddie is also super girly and I love it. She is still insisting on wearing dresses and sandals, no matter how cold it is in the morning.

  51. I’m SUCH a tomboy, and tried to make my son play with dolls – no luck. My daughter loves them, which makes me uncomfortable. My mother is very happy, though.

  52. I bought tutus for my Shibas, and was so jealous that I couldn’t have one! Mimi looks ADORABLE.

    And I just know your Giving Tree girl is going to love her doll. What a good soul you are.

  53. Already loves shoes, eh? And that hat, dahling, that hat! This was hilarious. I cracked up just at the title. We have a similar giving situation at work, and it is extremely sad to have the mother write down that the child needs underwear or socks. In our case, they write down 2 clothing choices and 2 toy choices, and we get them one of each. I’m big on bikes.

  54. How do you get her to keep hats on??? Maya will NOT keep a hat on.

    Also your boys having dolls? Reminds me of that part in Free to Be You And Me. Alex wants a doll. I know you watched it. Hippie mother and all.

  55. Wonderful fucking post. It really spoke to me. I remember being the kid on the other side of it and it is not a pretty picture. However, people with the kind of helping spirit you gave helps makes those kid’s Christmas.
    You are a saint. And you make a pretty cute baby.

    I am usually bah humbug but the spirit is creeping in.

  56. That’s so good that you do that. I’ve really need to get on it-do something-I’ve really turned into a selfish materialistic asshole.
    Would you be mad at me if I say a little prayer to the universe that it not spit out that hat in your size? : )

  57. I love love love that you do the Giving Tree. And go overboard. Heart of gold.

    I am so sorry that you had Christmas taken away as a punishment. A version of this happened to someone close to our family too. Hard to imagine but I think the by-product is your generosity.

    Your babe is too adorable!

  58. Becky, you know I love you bunches, but PLEASE don’t use the word “adopt” to refer to picking someone off a tree and buying them a gift. As an adoptive parent, I have a very hard time with the idea that doing something wonderful for someone you’ve never met is akin to adopting a child or a pet or anything else. Adoption is permanent.

    At our house, we “sponsor” a family for Christmas.

    Sorry to take over your comments section for my own personal crusade, but you know me – no boundaries.


  59. There are NO girls in my family. Well, now I have a little first cousin named Camille (another Mimi!), and she’s almost three and she has only boy cousins and older brothers and uncles and what not, so she’s positively tough and rough and tumble, only she puts tutus over her jeans and insists on gettin’ her nails did. SO. It’s sort of perfect.

    And Target is MY boyfriend!! He cheatin’ on me??

  60. –>I’m sure your giving tree girl will love her baby doll and cherish it especially because there won’t be a lot of competition from other toys.

    Super cute hat to fit your adorable little girl.


  61. Awesome tutu & hat on your lovely girl, and OMG the shoes for Miss Binky! 😉

    Reading about giving trees makes me want to start doing that next year. I’m sorry I didn’t this year, when so many people were having such a hard time. I don’t have a lot of ‘disposable’ money, but I’m doing better than many.

    BTW, I have a tutu – well, a crinoline, really – and I LOVE it. It’s by Leg Avenue and I added a few [or more?] inches of elastic to the waist to make it comfortable. It. Is. Awesome. Highly recommended. 😛

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