Perfect gifts are thoughtful. When done correctly, Christmas gifts can be more than an update to our stock of material possessions, it can serve to heal open wounds.
Albert Angel, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona, lost his 5-year battle with Lupus last June. His surviving wife, three children, and mother were left to face their first Christmas without him.
An insurmountable task, Stephanie Angel, the children’s mother, has had the task of helping her family cope with the loss.
Then, when it came time for holiday shopping, she and eldest daughter Alina, 16, came up with a plan to keep Albert’s memory alive.
Build-A-Bear Workshop allows people to make personalized teddy bears that make excellent gifts.
Over the years, customization options have only increased, allowing you to supply your own clothing material as well as add voice boxes to the plushies.
The thoughtful duo had three bears made. One each for Alina’s younger sisters, Aaralyn, 12, and Allani, 7, and their grandmother, Albert’s mother.
Alina recorded the footage of Stephanie giving the bears to the two girls on Christmas morning.
They were given specific instructions to open the packages at the same time, then smell them.
One whiff was all it took for Aaralyn to recognize the fragrance; she clutched the bear and crumpled into tears. The bears had been sprayed with their father’s signature scent.
Stephanie prompted the girls to squeeze the bear. Albert’s voice filled the room singing one of his favorite songs, Alabama’s “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down.”
Allani joined her sister’s tears. Stephanie told the girls that the bear’s clothing was made from a shirt that had belonged to their father.
It’s heartwarming what these two ladies have done to bring a little extra comfort to these girls this holiday season.
It’s impressive that Alina, a teen herself, has so much interest in helping her young sisters through the grief process.
Regardless of whatever else was under the tree, the gift of their father’s voice forever preserved cannot be beaten.
As they continue to experience the waves of grief for their father, they have a piece of him they can hold close.
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