Dec 186 - Ho Ho Ho....A Christmas in Sydney & The Big Surprise

Despite their hopes and wishes to stay awake and catch a glimpse of Santa or perhaps his flying sleigh, all five of the children in the house fell into a sweet slumber. 

Santa arrived with lots of goodies for everyone, managing to not wake a single person... and there were a lot of people sleeping in the house that night!!  

During our big adventure, we have generally stayed at accommodations we found on airbnb, except for Thailand and New Zealand where we stayed in hotels and a motorhome!  Though we loved pretty much every place we stayed at, we were really glad to be spending Christmas with friends in Sydney!  On Christmas morning, we heard a lot of joy and laughter as everyone unwrapped their presents.  Kian insisted on being dressed in his elf costume before seeing his presents, and he got changed from PJs to his costume in just a few seconds!  Kian and Hannah had a blast going through everything Santa brought and a few small gifts from mommy and daddy.  

Reading the special note from Santa! 

But there was a very special surprise from Santa to our whole family!  The perfect way for us to wrap up our travels around the world: a trip to Disney World in Florida!  Yay!  Thank you Santa!!!  Of course because our kids have never been to Disney World and have no idea what to expect, we did not get the happy screams and jumping up and down that you sometimes see in YouTube videos... But at least none cried!  We will go straight from Sydney to Orlando (with a layover in Los Angeles) on January 17th!  That wasn't the only surprise, as we found out that we are not going to be in Disney World alone!  Kian and Hannah's cousins from North Carolina will be meeting us there!  AAAAA....Best Christmas surprise ever!

After all the presents were opened, the kids started playing for a bit as the rest of the house got ready for a Christmas day party.  

When it comes to food and eating, Christmas is celebrated very differently in Sydney vs. New York/New Jersey.  Back home we would have warm, hearty meals for dinner, but in Sydney a Christmas meal is all about BBQ and fruit salads!  A little odd for us, but no complaints, as the weather was absolutely gorgeous. 

Katie's family hosted a Christmas party at their house, and once again we felt very lucky to be able to meet new people and spend time with a great group for the holiday. Kian and Hannah had lots of fun with all the kids that were at the party and loved their secret Santa gifts. The food was delicious and the desserts were incredible and almost all were homemade!  Kian and Hannah loved the Rice Krispie desserts made by Kitty, Katie's oldest, they were delicious and healthy too, because they were made with honey instead of Marshmallows! Mmm Mmm! 

Overall, our Christmas in Sydney was a blast and we are very thankful to Katie's family for letting us share it with them.  

Elmer the Elf Update

Elmer has successfully completed another year with the Morton family!  He is off to the North Pole, and although we will miss him, we are so glad he was able to be a part of our Big Adventure in Thailand, New Zealand, and a few days in Australia.  See you next year Elmer!