Three years ago my brother, sister and I came to the conclusion that buying presents for each other and our partners was just getting ridiculous.

Not that we don’t enjoying buying presents for each other, it was more a question of what do we really need – are we just buying things for the sake of it?

As we all live in different towns, we decided that in lieu of presents we would get together once a year for a fancy dinner. Our gift to each other would be spending time together over a great meal.

Last weekend it was our 2012 catch up and it was nothing short of brilliant.

We all, my parents, brother, sister, our partners and the 6 kids, headed to Echuca.

Mum and Dad had the 6 granddaughters in one cabin and we all slept in the other cabin.

Yes we have very supportive parents, I know babysitting large groups of kids is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when 4 of the girls are 2 and under!

We got ourselves ready – self portrait group style before we left – and headed out to dinner. P1040815

This year we went to Oscar W’s for dinner – the location on the Murray River is totally gorgeous, the wait staff were perfect, the wine delicious and the food tasty. We laughed, chatted and enjoyed dinner over several hours. The night was finished off with Espresso Martini’s by the fire…..perfect.

I look at this photo and wonder what it will be like in a few years time.

Given that nothing in the world stays the same – Impermanence – as the Buddhists call it. I’m really pleased we’ve started this tradition.

This moment beats any present that I could have been given for my birthday.