Next month, the 8-year-old Vallejo boy will have his sixth.
But that won't stop the Beverly Hills Elementary School second-grader from helping Gov. Jerry Brown with the State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony next week in Sacramento.
"I'm excited," Angel said Wednesday, outside Marie McPherson's second-grade class room.
This year marks the 31st that a child with a developmental disability will help light the tree. Angel was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a deformity that restricts his heart's ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of his body.
The syndrome has complicated his young life, including having a feeding tube and, until recently, a tracheotomy tube to help him breathe. Still, Angel has managed to live a more-or-less normal life.
"For example, in sports, he's allowed to play games, but everything needs to be limited and he has to be very careful," said mother Rosa Valencia, speaking through translator Rene Hernandez.
Indeed, early intervention through North Bay Regional Center has allowed Angel to remain in mainstream classes despite his disability, said Hernandez, North Bay's client program coordinator.
North Bay is one of 21 nonprofit regional centers contracted by the state Department of Developmental Services to coordinate services for people with disabilities. The organization provides Angel a variety of services, including transportation to and from medical appointments with his doctors at the University of California, San Francisco.
Pamela Madden-Krall, training and information project manager for North Bay Regional Center, said Angel was the first child chosen from North Bay's coverage area (Solano, Sonoma and Napa counties) for the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
"It's very exciting for us," she said.
Angel has a younger brother, and his favorite subject at school is math. Though he likes to play soccer, his favorite sport is baseball. However, Angel is currently wheelchair bound, having broken his left leg when he slipped while playing.
"Thank you for everyone who prayed so he could get better," father Jose Gonzalez said, also speaking through Hernandez.
He's been out of school for nearly two months, his mother said.
"We all miss you. We're waiting for you to come back," teacher McPherson said, shortly after Angel signed three Christmas tree-shaped cards, one of which will go to the governor and his wife.
Angel has shown remarkable improvement. Initially, he needed a nurse to monitor him in class because of his breathing tube. And though Angel still has his feeding tube, his mother predicts he'll be able to have it removed one day. Already, his meals are primarily eaten rather than through the tube.
His favorite food?
"Macaroni and cheese," Angel said, smiling.
The 82nd Annual State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 12 on the west steps of the State Capitol, 1315 10th St., Sacramento. The event is free and open to the public.
Contact Lanz Christian Bañes at (707) 553-6833 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LanzCBanes.