THE jingling of house keys has replaced the jingling of bells at a Moriac family’s Christmas this year.
Nathan Lacey has taken gift giving to a new level by surprising his family with a new home.
Mr Lacey wrapped the signed contracts to the family’s new Grovedale home in a large box along with a bottle of champagne and chocolates, giving his wife Naomi a Christmas she’ll never forget.
“It’s been an amazing morning, I still can’t believe it,” Ms Lacey said.
“Absolutely the best Christmas present ever. It was the last present under the tree and I just thought it had biscuits and chocolate in it.
“Then I saw the nice champagne and nice chocolates, and I went to lift them out and there’s a picture of the house I want and the contract.
“I was just looking at it gobsmacked, thinking ‘this is our house’ and we all just started crying and hugging.”
Mr Lacey said the decision to gift the Christmas surprise came following five months of searching for a home closer to Geelong to make life easier for their children Jai, 12, and Liv, 13, heading to high school next year.
“We’ve been looking, looking, looking,” Mr Lacey said.
“We’ve looked through endless amounts of different properties and this one came up. We’d looked through this house two or three times and Naomi and the kids loved it, and I was the one who was a bit unsure at the time.
“As a surprise, I organised to meet with Michelle (Michelle Winckle from Hayeswinckle Real Estate Highton) on Friday morning just gone and went down to her office there and signed the contracts and organised at the very last minute for bank deposits.
“That was tricky to keep secret. I just had to sneak out and said I was going to the office to finish a last few emails.”
Mr Lacey said the present was followed by “big happy tears” and cuddles all around.
The family had recently sold up in Moriac and were keen to purchase a new home before the New Year.
Ms Winckle said the story was like a Christmas miracle.
“They’ve been looking at the house for about four weeks and Naomi just really, really wants it more than anything,” she said.
“Every year I sell one or two homes on the 23rd or 24th, just before Christmas — every year without fail — but this is by far the most exciting and the best surprise I’ve ever experienced.