One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is watch old footage from our family Christmases so many years ago. I even shared some of them with my four-year-old this year, and she was so confused about why no one had cellphones and why the screen was so “blurry.” That’s VHS, kid!
One adult daughter recently had her family’s home movie footage digitized, and while watching the old clips, she noticed something so hilarious and relatable that she couldn’t keep it to herself — her mom’s sarcastic commentary on Christmas day. She uploaded some of her mom’s best moments to her TikTok account, and the footage quickly went viral.
In the clip, her mom, Susan, opens one of her gifts on camera, which turns out to be a Kitchen-Aid standing mixer.
She exclaims that the present is a standing mixer before looking at the camera and deadpanning, “Boy, oh boy! I can’t wait to use that to make my husband a wonderful meal. Just think of the tasty treats I can make my family with this mixer.”
This woman for president.
In another clip, seemingly later in the day, Susan stands in the kitchen and says into the camera, “Isn’t this just a wonderful holiday season? I’m so glad I’ve been able to cook and clean and just do things like a regular housewife would.”
Maybe things haven’t changed quite as much as we thought they had.
“A woman’s work is never done,” her husband replies, playfully.
In another shot, as children cry and whine in the background, Susan turns to the camera and says sarcastically, “The Avillars sitting down to a peaceful meal, as usual!”
A moment later, a calm has settled over the house, and Susan replies, “This is a peaceful Christmas dinner. You wanna know why it’s peaceful? The children are now gone.”
Susan’s daughter, Jordan Alvillar, 36, says that, as a kid, her mom’s facetious tone went way over her head. Now, as an adult, her mom’s sarcastic commentary hits different. She knew others would feel the same.
“My siblings and I digitized our family’s home videos as a birthday present for our dad,” Jordan tells Scary Mommy. “These were originally on camcorder cassette and VHS tapes and hadn’t been watched in ages. I loved watching them growing up, but my mom’s sarcastic tone didn’t land for me as a kid like it does now. I shared the clips online simply because our family thought they were hilarious, and I knew others would too, but I definitely underestimated what the response would be.”
The response she’s referring to is over 35 thousand views and hundreds of comments from TikTok users who find Jordan’s mom, Susan, to be a holiday hero, speaking the inner monologue of moms everywhere out loud — and with a perfect sense of sarcastic humor.
Jordan recognizes that, like most moms during the holidays, Susan is the reason her childhood Christmas was so magical, and also that her mom was taking on a giant load of invisible labor.
“I believe the clips resonate because my mom (through her humor) is singing a chorus that moms (and women) from any generation recognize: that for the majority of households, moms make the holidays happen for their families — and the holidays are yet another form of physical, mental and psychological labor moms take on for their partners and children,” Jordan says.
At the time of the footage, Susan was a working mom raising three young children — ages 9, 4 and 2.
Susan, now 72 years old, looks back on that time and remembers being overwhelmed. Relatable!
During that season of life, Susan was working in a “man’s world” in an underground mine as an engineer and also a mom to three children taking care of the home.
“At the time, I was working full-time in a male-dominated industry, drove hours to and from work, came home, made Christmas (eve) dinner, and bought and wrapped all the presents. It was a lot!” she recalls.
“To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. But, I had a very strong mother who raised four girls pretty much by herself, and I was the oldest. You just stepped up and did things. I also wanted a career, because my mom didn’t, and I know she regretted it.”
As for that standing mixer, Susan still has it! She also still has the husband if you were wondering.
“My husband and I have been married for over 40 years (there have definitely been times I wanted to throw the mixer at him). Although I WANTED the mixer for Christmas, and he bought it, the irony of it all was not lost on me. Do I want a 15 pound mixer or a diamond ring? I love that mixer, though (thank you, KitchenAid!). After all, no one can eat or help mix with a diamond ring! He bought me diamonds later, by the way…,” she jokes.
As for being an 80’s mom, she struggled with all the same kinds of mom guilt that today’s parents do. Though times were overwhelming as a working mom of three kids, she doesn’t regret being a working woman, noting that her work/life balance made her the person she is.
“Being a mom in the 80s was interesting. I felt guilty about leaving my kids to others (to care for), but remembering my mom’s regrets, I really needed and wanted a career,” she admits. “My career made me who I am, and being a mother did as well. I’m grateful for both things.”
Unsurprisingly, with a mom like Susan, her kids turned out great too.
“My children are also good people inside and out, which is the most important thing to me,” she says.
Now retired, Susan and her husband, Jim, spend half the year in Chapala, Mexico, a town located on the north shore of Lake Chapala just south of Guadalajara where she says life “very simple and yet not.”
Living in a beach town in Mexico, happy with well-adjusted grown kids — and with a really nice mixer — is the exact kind of life I’d wish for Susan if I didn’t know what she was up to, honestly. It’s what she deserves!