Obama Family Holiday Package Snafu Surprise for Illinois Woman

Jan 2, 2014 12:55pm

A woman in the Chicago suburbs got quite a surprise when opening up a delayed Christmas package from her brother:  A present from the Obama family was mistakenly inside.

Alane Church told ABC News that a box filled with Christmas presents for her family from her brother in New York arrived a week late and was in complete disarray. The presents had been re-packaged in a toilet paper box with all of the packages as well as the ripped wrapping paper inside. There was also a note from the Post Office apologizing.

Church said she received the delayed box on New Year’s Eve, but didn’t open it until yesterday and she didn’t realize there was another package at the very bottom until she had passed out all the presents to her children. It was a photobook like the ones made on the photo site Shutterfly from the Obama girls to their godparents and Church says it is a “beautiful book.”

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Courtesy Alane Church

“It’s chronological so it starts in Hawaii last year and ends with a Christmas tree,” Church said. “There are precious pictures through the whole book. They are not all perfect pictures, just loving pictures. There are some professional pictures, but others look like they are taken on someone’s phone, just sweet memories.”

The package, like the others in the box, was opened, but had a tag addressed to “Mama Kaye and Papa Wellington” from “Barack, Michelle and the girls.” Mama Kaye is Kaye Wilson of Chicago, Sasha and Malia Obama’s godmother.

Wilson briefly confirmed the tale to ABC News and called it just a “mix up from the Post Office.”

Church said she didn’t know what to do at first so she put a photo of the present on her Facebook page and that’s when a friend told her “Mama Kaye” is the godmother of the Obama daughters. Church contacted Wilson and Church said she was “elated” because she had been “waiting for it to arrive.” Wilson told her “every year the girls make a book of their life in the White House.”

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Courtesy Alane Church

Church said she would love to drop off the album in person, but they are under 16 inches of snow at their home in Wadsworth, Ill., and she is still figuring out how she will even get to the Post Office today.

There are photos of the Obama girls, Church said, plus the president and first lady, at their daughters’ basketball games and dance recitals, and even photos from their stockings hung from last Christmas.

“We’ve all laughed, we’ve all had some good laughs about it,” Church said.

A photo of the cover of the book shared with ABC News shows Malia and Sasha Obama at their father’s inauguration last January.

The United States Postal Service told ABC News they are looking into the issue.   The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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