According to Wikipedia:
In most of Canada, Family Day is a statutory holiday occurring on the third Monday in February. This corresponds with Presidents Day in the United States. In the provinces of Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, the statutory holiday on this date is instead termed Louis Riel Day and Islander Day, respectively.
After Dalton McGuinty’s appointment as premier was supported by the election, McGuinty advised the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David Onley to establish Family Day on 11 October 2007, with the first being observed on 18 February 2008. Its creation raised Ontario’s number of public holidays to nine per year, Unionized workers whose collective agreements do not yet include this holiday will continue to work on Family Day.
My Husband, ever the cynic, loves to joke about this holiday. “They should call it: Please Oh Please Vote For Me and I’ll Give You a Day Off in February Just Like the American’s Have Day.” Which refers of course to the above paragraph.
My 16 year old son does not care how it came about. He does not care why it came about. He does not care what it is suppose to celebrate. He is however delighted that he can sleep in and does not have to go to school.
I however find this newly generated holiday quite interesting. It is interesting to me that the holiday also arrives close to Valentine’s Day. When I was young and in love Valentine’s Day was all about doing romantic stuff with your boyfriend and dinner out and roses and candy. I’m older now, and still in love, but once you have kids past the age of 2 it becomes more about them. You find yourself hanging heart shaped cling-ons on the big glass patio door. You make heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. You help them fill out the little Valentine’s Day Cards for their class. Rolling Family Day and Valentine’s Day up into one long weekend Family Love Fest is certainly an appropriate way to go.
The first year it was held it seemed no one knew quite what to do with themselves. That is slowly changing as families and businesses start to form new traditions. The City of Mississauga has really stepped up to fill a void. Many of the usual fun places to go will be closed that day, but it is the perfect day to set aside to get out and get active with your kids. If you check our website you will find an article with some great ideas on Family Day Activities in Mississauga.
As we explore this new holiday families will begin developing traditions of their own. Our family went up to the cottage for the last 2 Family Days. It is more like luxury camping in the winter. There is no running water. We bucket water up from a hole my husband drills in the lake so we can flush the toilet. We do have electric heat, the refrigerator, stove and the tiny TV that is not hooked up to cable all work. We read books, play board games, and force our son to watch old black and white movies. (Because of this he knows that: “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!” is not an original Cheech and Chong line, but actually comes from the 1948 movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” with Humphry Bogart.)
This year however we will be staying in Mississauga. My son is taking his WSI (Water Safety Instructors) course with the city and needs to be in town Sunday afternoon. And that’s okay! The Olympics are going to be starting that week and we are going to love watching those on our high def TV in the city. So I think I’ll cook up something yummy for dinner (TBD) and I’ll take some time to make a home made chocolate cake with white icing in my heart shaped cake tins. It’s going to be a cozy relaxed Olympic Family Valentine at our house!
What does Family Day mean to you? What will you be doing? If you leave us a comment about Family Day below AND fill out our contest form you’ll be entered to win a Playdium family prize pack of 4 X 160 credit Playcards valid anytime! For rules and additional details check our Mississauga Kids Contest Page!