Nine siblings surprised their parents by secretly recreating an “awkward” family photoshoot they had undertaken 19 years earlier.
Abigail Schmitz, from Hennepin County, Minnesota, said her parents, Steve and Carrie, are impossible to buy gifts for, so she and her siblings started working on a creative alternative to the traditional options.
Back in 2004, the nine siblings had undertaken a photo shoot, which resulted in a portrait that had been hanging in the family’s home ever since.
Having seen a trend online where friends or family take awkward photos at JCPenny, Abigail, 21, and her siblings decided it was a perfect surprise, using the 19-year-old images as inspiration.
With all of the siblings back in Minnesota over the holidays, the group secretly headed to their local store on December 28, where Abigail documented the photoshoot and the fun the siblings were having.
Abigail posted a video of the shoot online, and it immediately went viral, but fortunately, Steve and Carrie were oblivious to the social media success.
On December 30, after the siblings had received the images back, the group decided it was time for the surprise itself, blindfolding their parents before the big reveal.
Steve and Carrie couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the results, bursting into laughter at the creative recreations their children had put together.
Abigail said it was at that moment she and her siblings – Jake, Elizabeth, Phil, Nick, Isaac, Margaret, Nate and Gate – realized the bond they share is special.
She added: “When everybody is home, it is always a blessing and quite hectic – but we were able to all get together and create this surprise.
“We got to JCPenny, worried that they may overwhelmed that there were so many of us, but it did not go that way at all.
“Our photographer was so fun and so amazed that we were all siblings – we laughed the entire time and had a little too much fun with it.
“Mom and Dad had no clue we did the photoshoot, let alone the fact that it was going viral as well.
“When we gave the gift to Mom and Dad, we expected big laughs from both of them.
“After they put their glasses on and could see the photos clearly, side by side, we got those big laughs from both.
“Mom got teary-eyed as well and said, “Oh wow, my children are all so beautiful”.
“Telling them we went viral on TikTok got them so excited, and they spent the evening reading all the comments we were receiving as well.
“We have all been receiving many messages about how funny the photos and videos turned out.
“Through social media, many people are in awe of how we can all be siblings and how we are all still close.
“We are just glad people are getting a laugh out of it, but also have realized that what our family has is special, and it is not taken for granted.”