When this grandmother came to know that her son and daughter-in-law were expecting, she launched an improbable search for a Christmas gift, whose sentimental value only one person would truly appreciate.
This adorable story starts almost 30 years ago, when Jan’s son Nick was less than a year old. He received a stuffed giraffe named Fraffy as one of his first-ever Christmas presents, and the two became as inseparable as a toddler and security blanket.
When the young bog used to sleep, Fraffy helped keep the monsters and nightmares at bay, even if it meant giving up his horns and stuffing to a mouthing baby. During those early days many a stuffed animal came and went, but Fraffy held a special place in the little boy’s heart and remained a constant all through his childhood and adolescence.
“When I moved to Chicago from Washington state at age 12, Fraffy was my moving buddy,” Nick recalled. “He sat with me, assuring me I could make it through high school in a new state. He maintained his cuddle buddy status for a few more years, hiding under the covers when friends came over.”
But as the years passed, Fraffy was eventually relegated to a dresser drawer. He remained there until Jan found him, right around the time Nick was preparing to marry and move into his own home. When she suggested that he take his old friend with him, he returned with his own suggestion: “Why don’t you keep him? You can keep him safe and he can keep you safe, just like he did for me.”
And here’s where the story gets current.
Last Christmas, all the presents had been opened, and his little son Link had already received quite a few, even though he hadn’t been born yet. Then, like that unforgettable Christmas morning scene in “A Christmas Story,” Jan handed Nick a final package with a twinkle in her eye.
Carefully, I raised the lid and there he was: a brand new Fraffy — vibrant and velvety, horned, hole-less and whole, stuffed full of soft cotton and life. He was the best Christmas present I ever received.”
Earlier the same year, as soon as she found out Nick and Alyss were expecting, Jan had quietly launched a search for another Playskool Snuzzles Giraffe. And she finally hit pay dirt when she found one selling on eBay for more than $200. (She refused to tell Nick how much she actually paid, but she did admit to getting into some heated bidding wars.)
Recently, Nick related this sentimental and heartfelt story on Reddit, and it’s captured the hearts of readers everywhere. Especially those who have a special place in their hearts for their own cherished stuffed animals:
And in case you’re wondering, yes, young Link “loves his Fraffy, and his grandma for getting it for him.”