Many users recalled their own personal stories of loved ones never getting to live out their childhood and playing with toys.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 27, 2021. It has since been updated.
Gifting toys to kids is a long-standing Christmas tradition and many of us have been privileged enough to experience that joy. A grandmother who was never gifted a doll in her life broke down in tears after her co-workers gifted her one. The video was shared on TikTok by user @ilianmejia06 or Lilian Mejia, garnering more than 2.8 million views. The video shows the woman getting emotional and crying as she unwraps her Christmas present at work. She had been gifted an American doll, making it the very first she owned. She announces to those around her that this was her very first doll. Her coworkers hug her as she breaks down in tears. One co-worker jokingly tells her, "Don't cry because you're going to be ugly."
The woman believed to be Lilian Mejia, appeared to be exorcising years of pain as she held the doll high up. Gabriela Meija wrote on TikTok, "My grandma is so grateful for all these sweet and loving comments! Her friends at work gave her, her first doll and she loved it." Another person commented, "I cry. This world is cruel with some people. She never had a childhood and her emotion of getting a doll says it all." Many commented saying it showed how many older people had never had a proper childhood and never been allowed to be a child during their times. "Literally breaks my heart how many of our parents did not have a childhood. My mom and dad's childhoods were spent working.. " wrote one user.
Many users praised her co-workers for realizing how much she would love a doll and then buying it for her. "It's the co-workers for me. That's love." Some shared their own personal stories about their parents. "my mom used to play with a brick as a doll because it was heavy like a real baby," wrote one user. Another added, "My Mom loves watching high school shows and cartoons and I think it’s because she didn’t have a childhood people like them deserve all the love."
Point is that no matter how old you are it’s never to late to do what you love— BeebeeLuv (@BeebeeLuv3) December 25, 2021
Some users shared that seeing their parents live out their childhood dreams was one of the purest things ever. "My mom never had dolls either until she was able to buy them herself 20 years ago. She has 3 in her living room and dresses them with the season," wrote one user. "My mom buys porcelain dolls and puts them on a shelf as a collection cause she didn’t have any as a child either! She always says she never had dolls," commented another person. "My mom had a doll made out of cardboard as a little girl," added another person.
My mom cried when she gave us our first Barbies cause she always had them fake ones growing up. The ones with the bald spot😭😭😭😭— 🤍uhreli (@AMHRWYD) December 25, 2021
The video highlighted what privileged people take for granted and many acknowledged that. "Most of us are way too privileged. Imagine this lady never had a doll! We have to be grateful for the little things in life," they wrote. "My grandma passed away and I kept her dolls. she loved them because she never had any growing up."
My mom grew up very poor and there were these Precious Moments stickers she always wanted as a kid but she could never have them— ️Hincaru✖ ❦ わびさび (@hincaru) December 25, 2021
I spent a month looking for those 70s era stickers and got them for her for Christmas and her reaction made it worth every second of searching
The video was also posted on Twitter where user @TheDivineNyla captioned it: “I love seeing adults heal their inner child. She never had a doll in her life and my heart melted.” It was appreciated on Twitter as well with many lamenting all the people who lost their childhood. “It be the little things man, when you go through life without and finally get to experience something it’s a special moment you never forget,” wrote one person.
You can watch the video here: