Maybe Hoda can join the ladies for manicures?
If writer Khalid El Khatib’s tweet about his mom’s annual “home for the holidays” email gave you a good laugh, then you don’t want to miss the next addition to this rom-com in the making. After the writer and marketer went viral for tweeting a screenshot of his mom Janet’s extremely ~detailed~ Christmas plans on Dec. 12, the family appeared on the Dec. 20 episode of the Today Show. The catch is, Janet didn’t know they’d be on the national morning program or be interviewed by her favorite host, Hoda Kotb — and her reaction to the holiday surprise is the sweetest thing you’ll see today.
If you thought Buddy The Elf’s list of things to do with his dad was long, wait until you see Janet’s viral email. The holiday list of meals, which she sends out every year, is a daily itinerary that breaks down everything she has planned for her adult children while they’re home for the holidays. “I do it every time my kids come home, because I want, when they come home, for it to be special,” Janet told Kotb in the Dec. 20 interview. Unlike Buddy’s schedule, though, the email doesn’t include a list of seasonal activities like making snow angels and going ice skating (although, there is a bourbon tasting and manicures). For the most part, Janet’s email is dedicated to all the food, drinks, and snacks that the family will enjoy over the holiday break.
Some of the gems that made it on the list include plans like, “popcorn, Chex Mix, and various candies available for grazing throughout the day.” In his tweet El Khatib calls it an “incredibly thorough, detail-rich look ahead at how it’s possible for me to gain 15 pounds in one week.”
Janet knew after the Dec. 12 tweet that she had gone viral — El Khatib tweeted on Dec. 13 that “she loves it” — and with her family home for the holiday, she was set to be interviewed on Dec. 20 by what she thought was a local NBC affiliate in Iowa, where she lives. Thankfully, it was all a setup to get her on camera with Kotb. Before Janet knew what was going on, you could see her in the family home with her kids waiting for the interview, and then Kotb said, “Hey, Janet, can you hear me?” Before Kotb could finish introducing the segment, the viral mom knew what was up and adorably shouted, “This is Hoda!” into the camera.
After the big reveal, Janet joked through exasperated gasps and excited giggles, “Wait, I’m having a heart attack!”
Once the initial shock subsided, Janet shared she sends out her signature email to her kids every year because she wants every trip home to be special: “They all have special likes and dislikes, so I send out this itinerary, and they can always tweak it.”
The excitement didn’t disappear completely, though, because later in the interview while answering a question, Janet had to stop herself and say, “I’m talking to Hoda, oh, my God!” Of course, she didn’t pass up an opportunity to tell Kotb she TiVos her favorite anchor every day.
“Either you have a mom like my mom, or you want a mom like my mom,” El Khatib explained to Kotb about why he thinks the tweet went so viral. From the looks of the Twitter responses, it seems to ring true. I mean, along with the now-viral itinerary, another holiday tradition of Janet’s involves wearing a bell around her neck so kids know when she’s coming with candy. Who wouldn’t want that?
The itinerary was enough for most people to stan Janet, but once she had the sweetest reaction to being surprised by Kotb, they couldn’t help but share how much they love this Christmas-loving mom:
El Khatib retweeted the segment to bring the moment full circle and share that it was probably the present Janet will get this year. “The best Christmas gift for the best Christmas mom. Thank you @HodaKotb!!! (My mom is calling all her friends now.),” wrote Khalid.
With the Janet surprise pulled off without a hitch, Kotb even made sure they snapped a pic together at the end.
Can’t wait to see where that selfie winds up.