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Welcome to our blog where we share everything from recent weddings and engagements, to our amazing adventures as a family of four. When we aren’t photographing weddings, our family is traveling the world, decorating our new home in Ottawa, Ontario or snuggled up watching movies with our basset hound, Georgia. We love working with joyous couples and absolutely cannot wait to tell your story!

meet stephanie

Every year we see massive marketing efforts take place from the big box stores. Black Friday rolls in and everyone is chasing the next deal to save a buck during Christmas and to stock up on presents. Here’s the thing, just because those big stores are trying to take their bank accounts from red to black (hence the name) doesn’t mean that we as consumers need to buy into the urgency just for the sake of a sale. Am I right?!

Buying a ton of gifts is not on our agenda.

Why? Let me tell you. In 2017 we went on our first real all-inclusive trip as a family. I kept telling myself this won’t be a regular thing so really just soak it all in. We took advantage of all of the activities the resort had to offer, ate our weight in food, did the fun excursions as a family and made sure to drink our fair share of fancy drinks.

We had so much fun on the 2017 trip we decided to do something similar in 2018 by surprising our kids with Christmas on the beach.  I couldn’t sleep because the excitement kept me up all night long. My husband suggested we pretend that we were dropping him off at the airport for another deployment but at the last minute, let them in on our secret that we’d be spending the next 7 days on the beach!

Our family conversations have changed significantly over the last two years. We asked our boys if they’d rather have the huge Christmas at home like we normally do or scrap the gifts and spend some time together adventuring each year. The vote was unanimous! I was floored that our children decided on their own that they didn’t really need anything anymore and would much rather spend time together making new memories.

Our kids still speak about what we did on each trip, but what’s funny is they don’t talk about past presents they got. They speak about jumping off cliffs, zip lining, surfing, performing pool stunts and snorkelling. Their minds wander with what they want to do in the future and now they even help us plan. The trip allows us all to relax together, unplugged.

Traveling over the holidays is expensive but so was the Christmas we were doing at home. I found myself buying presents just to fill the space under the tree. That’s not my idea of money well spent. We now budget and plan for holiday vacations a year in advance and and countdown to our next family adventure together!

Have you ever considered going away over the holidays versus buying a ton of gifts? Have questions about traveling with children? Ask away! I’m incredibly passionate about giving our children a life full of experiences and would love to chat more with you about it.

  1. Krysta says:

    Such an incredible way to spend Christmas! Would love to replace Christmas shopping with memories of exploring a new place but we’d miss Christmas tradition and spending time with the rest of our families.

  2. Nana says:

    I think it’s a great way to spend Christmas! As a grandmother of two boys, I would say “ go for it” and maybe just maybe, Grampy and I will be able to go with them one of these wonderful trip! ❤️

  3. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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