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NJ family goes viral on TikTok as grandkids surprise grandparents for the holidays

New Jersey family goes viral after planning special Christmas surprise
New Jersey family goes viral after planning special Christmas surprise 02:37

BERLIN, N.J. (CBS) —  A South Jersey family went viral on TikTok this holiday season as 10 grandkids, all grown up, showed up one-by-one at their grandparents' home for a surprise get-together — just like they used to do as kids.

Over 5 million people have seen Tony Sindoni open the door of his home in Berlin, New Jersey, and welcome his grandchildren in with "my favorite people." There's Pat, a.k.a. Mom-Mom, hugging each grandkid as they show up in the kitchen with gifts or snacks in tow, and step away, holding her head in her hands, to take it all in.

"We always spent Christmas Eves together in our pajamas, tracking Santa, when he was getting there, all those kinds of things growing up," Emily Sindoni said. "They made us have so much fun when we were younger. Which is why we had to return it."

Sindoni and her grandparents spoke with CBS News Philadelphia on Christmas Eve about the tender moment that's touching hearts all over the internet.

"They used to all come over and we did it all here, but they got so big and we have a small house," grandpa Tony said. 

The return to the holiday tradition all started with a group text about two weeks ago — and then the grandkids started making arrangements.

"Everyone was in, and we all picked the games we were going to bring, or the food, BYOB. People got off of work or they canceled their plans and we just showed up one by one," Emily said.

The grandkids ranging from ages 18 to 40 brought pizza, drinks and games. And just like when they were kids, they had their holiday pajamas on when they showed up.

Scenes from the viral TikTok video @emilysindoni/Tiktok

"They brought everything, and my house was such a mess," Pat said. "I was in the middle of making cookies, the mixer, the flour, the sugar was all over. Here they come with all this stuff."

And for a change, grandma and grandpa got dressed up too.

"Every year when we were younger, they got every cousin a pair of Christmas pajamas," Emily said. "So I decided, they obviously had to have their own."

They got them matching Mickey Mouse pajama shirts and bottoms.

Emily said she made the TikTok as sort of a highlight reel of the night for the family to have. But when she sent it to the cousins, she joked they'd be viral by tomorrow.

Then it actually happened. The video now has over 1 million likes and nearly 8,000 comments.

"The comments are so kind, everyone wants to be adopted into our family, it's been crazy," Emily said.

"It was unbelievable," Pat said. "I don't need another Christmas present the rest of my life. They could never top it."

"It's the things you do together, rather than the things that you buy for them. I stood and I realized, they were like little kids again," Pat added later. "They'll have those memories forever now, even when toys bought are all gone. You just say thank God for the blessings."

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