Our family Christmas might look a little unusual to some. We don’t put up a Christmas tree or overly decorate our house. It seems a little silly to do the traditional things both my husband and I grew up doing since we are the first to hop on a plane to head out on our next adventure.
Our boys are now 10 and 8 years old which means, they honestly have every toy and gadget they could want. Really, if you were to ask them what they received as gifts three holidays ago they likely wouldn’t remember. They do remember however, the incredible experiences and memories we’ve made over the years as a family.
This holiday I was determined to exclusively capture it on film. I’m so glad I did! There’s something about the look and feel of film that brings back such nostalgia for me. Since we are truly committed to gifting our children experiences instead physical gifts, it’s nice to have a tangible memory printed for everyone to have the opportunity to look back on.
This past Christmas took us to Sandos Caracol in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico where we enjoyed some much needed downtime along with a few new experiences!
We were spoiled with the weather over our ten day all-inclusive vacation which meant we could really soak in the sun, jump over the waves, build sandcastles and spend a little time beach combing.
Since our children know we travel over the holidays, they are very strategic and thoughtful about the things they do ask for. Our youngest, Jack asked for a metal detector from Santa so he could scour the beach to find some hidden treasure.
We’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Mexico several times over the last few years. We’ve seen what other resorts have to offer and quickly fell in love with Sandos Caracol for so many reasons.
We appreciate and are drawn to eco resorts where their primary focus is to keep the resort as nature friendly as possible. We want to get away from the feeling of living in a concrete jungle. Sandos certainly didn’t disappoint. Their grounds are in the middle of the jungle bordering a beautiful beach. The winding pathways lead to their very own cenotes right on site which makes for perfect snorkelling with the many species of fish and turtles. There was really no need to leave the resort which allowed for a truly relaxing holiday for everyone.
Since we loved this resort so much, we decided to become members. We certainly see ourselves going back and the perks to becoming an elite member felt wonderful. The private members only pool is where we spent a lot of our time. I was able to take in a few books while the boys played catch and performed their pool stunts.
The waterpark on site was a wonderful surprise for the boys. Our little men are quite the thrill seekers, so they were quite happy that they were allowed to ride the adult area of the waterpark.
Brody Learns to Scuba Dive
Both my husband and I have a serious love for the ocean. I met my husband in Victoria, BC at which time I was in the midst of becoming a PADI Rescue Diver. Once I found out that he was training to become a professional diver too (on a much more complex and intense level than myself) – I was hooked.
My husband is now a Clearance Diver with the Canadian Department of National Defence and has logged over 500 hours underwater. We both jumped on the opportunity to open Brody’s world and allow him to explore the unbelievable marine life first hand.
As much as I wanted to join them both on this adventure, Jack is still too young to become dive qualified so we opted for a more tame snorkelling day trip just the two of us.
To be completely honest, I also felt a lot more comfortable as a mother knowing my overly qualified husband Josh could undoubtedly keep our son safe (and documented the whole thing because… well… FOMO).
A special thank you to Mariana Tombini with Mari Free To Flow for the priceless photos and video clips.
Quick Video Clips of Brody’s First Dive Experience
… And Because Mom is a Photographer
Every year I take a few more formal portraits of our family a little more dressed up while away. I love being able to watch our boys grow up through the lens (and on film). I cherish these trips with them!
… And because no Christmas was really a Christmas if you didn’t have your holiday pyjamas on. Right?!
We’ve all enjoyed this untraditional shift during the holidays. We’ve been committed to finding that next adventure with our boys… so much so, that we are already planning one epic backpacking trip with them!
That’s right, we’ve officially decided to experience the world on a deeper, more intimate level. We cannot wait to share with you all where in the world we are headed this holiday season!