If you have mischievous children (or if you’ve ever seen Home Alone), you know that it’s always a gamble to leave your kids unchaperoned at the house for too long. Will they throw a party? Will they break everything? Fight off burglars? It makes it hard for parents to take a trip with true peace of mind.
When two hard-working parents finally took a much-deserved vacation, they didn’t think their four daughters would get into too much trouble when left alone. A week later, however, cameras recorded the parents’ reactions to a home that was nothing like how they’d left it…
After raising four wonderful daughters, Karen and Chip Schoonover from South Carolina were due for a vacation. They had finally saved enough money and were heading out for a week to themselves around Christmas time.
The couple left worry-free because their daughters — Haley, Hollie, Heather and Halice — were now old enough to stay home unsupervised without causing any trouble… or so the Schoonovers thought.
See, their oldest daughter, Heather, was already married and had moved out of the house a few years prior. Knowing her parents were leaving town for a week, however, brought her right back to her old doorstep.
Although Hollie’s hobbies mainly consisted of make-up art, acting, and singing, she concocted a totally different kind of scheme that would eventually have her parents’ jaws on the floor.
Hollie needed help, however. Her plans couldn’t be carried out alone, but luckily, she had sisters. The second oldest Schoonover daughter, Halice, attended nearby Coastal Carolina college. She was available to help her older sis.
Heather, the third daughter, was able to come through as well, despite having moved more inland where she’d taken a job as a marketer for a real estate company.
Because their plan was intricate and had several stages, Hollie asked her younger sister Haley to record and document their entire process right from the start. The sisters were all on board with Hollie’s plan. The team was together.
Patiently, the girls waited for mom and dad to drive away so they would have the whole week to themselves. Only then could they carry out their secret plans. Boy, would their folks be surprised once they came back from their trip!
Because the sisters with a close bond, wanting to show appreciation for their parents, decided to spruce up the house from top to bottom! This, they figured, would be a fantastic Christmas gift.
And while a spic-and-span house would already be a wonderful gift to most parents, Haley, Healther, Hollie and Halice wanted to do more for the duo that raised them. They agreed to take their gift to the next level.
The girls had saved up all their money and invested in some new carpet, curtains, paint, and anything else they needed to update the look of their parents’ home during that week.
The only problem was they had no idea how much work would go into a project like this. None of them had ever done any renovation work before! Would their present even be finished by the time Chip and Karen returned? Would it turn out well?
The project didn’t start off well. When the girls attacked the rooms with mops and sponges, they discovered piles of old junk that needed to be thrown out. Sorting through everything took the whole first day.
As the sisters moved on from cleaning to the actual renovations, they realized that this required a lot of hard work, skill, determination and experience. While they were certainly determined, they were in over their heads.
At this point, youngest sister Hollie began to get cold feet; she worried they would break something or simply not finish on time, and feared her parents would come home to a destroyed home.
However, it was too late to turn back, so the girls persisted, learning as they went about each task. They eventually called in reinforcements from their friends because Hollie did have a point: it HAD to be done in time.
Since their main goal was to update the house as much as possible, the sisters needed to do more than paint and renovate. They had also saved money to buy some new furniture and decorations.
They soon found out that getting the new furniture in was much easier than getting the old furniture out: all their strength was barely enough to push their old couch from the porch into the backyard. Hey, who said this would be easy?
By day three, the girls were near their breaking points. The home was in shambles and they stared hopelessly at a long list of unfinished tasks they didn’t even know how to approach!
Although the girls had brought in extra help, painting every room in the house was far more work than they originally anticipated. As the night fell, it took all their willpower to keep from throwing in the towel.
On the fifth day, Heather and Halice had to go home to take care of some things, leaving Hollie and Haley to work alone. With the project already testing them, this was not what they wanted to hear. Nevertheless, they doubled their efforts.
By the end of day six, everything needed to be wrapped up, and it was up to Hollie and Haley to do so. While Hollie showed her new stress-induced acne breakout, Haley said she felt “like she was in the army.”
The day of their parents’ return was sure to be a whirlwind of emotions. The girls were exhausted but eager to share their amazing surprise. The video camera captured all of their energy!
To make their surprise as impactful as possible, Hollie and Haley fed their parents a diversion: they revealed Heather and Halice were home for the holidays. This, of course, would make mom and dad happy, all the while concealing the real surprise.
When Karen and Chip finally pulled into the driveway, relaxed and recharged after their week-long getaway, they immediately felt that something was up. Then, all four of their daughters came out of the house to greet them.
Karen immediately noticed that front of the house looked different, and she jokingly asked her kids, “Alright, who cleaned?” The girls just giggled and suggested they all go inside to settle down.
The sisters warned their mother to “take a deep breath” before leading both parents into their “new” home, where Chip and Karen finally saw the house in its fully renovated form!
When they stepped over the threshold into the kitchen, Karen was suddenly overcome with emotion. Tears ran down her face as she admired the updated living space her daughters had created for their family.
The walls were now a calming, pale blue, and the cupboards a contrasting dark brown. Amazingly, the girls had succeeded in replacing the old and worn countertops with new polished marble.
Of course with a sparkling new kitchen, a fancy new living room is a must. The kids had ditched the old couch and brought in two new ones, along with a rug and a coffee table, making it feel much more like a home than before.
Meanwhile, in the family bedrooms, Karen was practically dancing on the plush new carpet beneath her feet. Both the master and the guest bed were provided with brand new bedding for a fresher look that you’d wanna dive straight into.
After the tour, the girls explained to their overwhelmed parents that they wanted to surprise them with the best Christmas present they’d ever received. Looking at the project in its entirety, it became clear what an enormous undertaking it had been!
Karen and Chip were not only ecstatic with the updates to their home, they were also incredibly proud of their daughters. They would’ve never believed they could’ve pulled off this kind of project.
A few days after the big reveal, Hollie posted the edited video of their hard work on her YouTube page. Before long, it had hundreds of thousands of views and had inspired people from all over the world.
The girls were so happy that the video motivated others to spruce up their own homes or help out loved ones. Their main message: never believe you can’t do something until you try it, and even then, don’t give up on yourself!