Anyone who grew up attached to a stuffed animal or blanket — aka a "lovey" — knows how special that particular object can become. It gets buckled into seat belts on family car rides, it gets taken on every trip, it gets tucked into bed every night, it gets medicine when it's sick — and then, one day, despite being so valued and loved, its owner grows up, and it gets retired to a shelf, drawer, or box in the attic. Although Nick Hollinger's lovey, an old and faded giraffe named "Fraffy" that he received for Christmas 29 years ago, was long into his retirement, the stuffed toy was one of the first things his mom, Jan, thought of when Nick and his wife announced they were pregnant.
Although Jan had the original Fraffy stored away in her home, the grandma-to-be wanted to surprise her son with a brand new Fraffy for his own son and even got involved in a few eBay bidding wars once she finally tracked down the giraffe toy she bought her son all those years ago. Then, for Christmas 2016, among all the other baby gifts the expectant dad opened, was a gift from his mom.
"My mom handed me a particularly fancy package and sits down next to me, eyes sparkling," Nick told Babble. "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."
In a post to Reddit, Nick shared a photo of the original Fraffy next to Link's new Fraffy. "On the left is my first (now un)stuffed animal I received for Christmas 29 years ago," he wrote. "On the right, the new Fraffy my mom tracked down to give to my 8-month-old son for his first Christmas. I can't believe he used to have horns!"
We're not crying, you're crying. (But we are heading home to dig our own loveys out of retirement ASAP.)