February 9th, 2017 - Stories

Making Memories this Christmas

I’m thinking of taking a holiday this Christmas – a real one. A leave my laptop at home kind of holiday.

I’ve run my own business for 14 years now and the longest I’ve been away from a computer is 24 hours. That was last month when my baby had to go to the Apple geniuses for a tune up. I knew I had a serious problem when I told the tech that I’d rather leave my 15-year-old for a night or two.

So with that confession on the table – and staring at plane wheels up in less than 48 hours – I find myself wondering if I can leave my work behind. And if I can’t completely, can I work to rule? I hope so. And here’s why.

This past Monday morning was harder than usual. A treasured family friend passed away and the funeral was set for 10:30 am. Armed with a stiff black coffee and my little brother’s shoulder to lean on, we made our way to the funeral home for the service.  A service where I would watch my four childhood friends pay tribute to their mom with grace, with humour, with truth and with love.

They told stories about birthday parties and brawls, Stampede parades and Christmas sweet potatoes – all of the little things that make our lives real and true.

And through the stories, the memory of their wonderful Mom – her big broad smiles, her warm comfy hugs and her contagious laughter – was brought to life. Through my laughter and my tears, I caught the words and phrases ‘always there for us’, ‘every occasion special’, ‘my biggest fan’, ‘wonderful listener’ … and she was all that. Fay was special.

So this Christmas, as we travel to be with family and friends, and enjoy some experiences of a lifetime, I pledge to be like Fay. To be present. To be a good listener. To be there for my people. To make it special.

And that means, laptop or not, my work will wait on my family for a change because I’ll be making memories of Christmas lights, magical storefronts, and maybe even sweet potatoes.

Here’s hoping you’ll be doing the same.

Merry Christmas everyone. I’m looking forward to hearing your stories in 2017.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Inspired by a little blackcoffee

Some of my favourite moments are spent in search of something beautiful while I drink my first cup of coffee and hear the house wake up. From there I move on to the paper and the news of the day. In this space, I’ll share some of those inspirations.


Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at www.BlackcoffeeStudio.com


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.