Peeves with Family Day

I have two peeves with Family Day.  Firstly, the concept.  I feel like things like family are so fundamental that they ought not to need a commemorative day, because that suggests that these basics are in need of protection, which in turn means they are under assault, which therefore means that we are undermining the very things that make our lives possible and worthwhile.  I mean, do we have a day to celebrate the air that we breathe?  The earth that we all rely on?

Oh yeah, we do.  Nice.

The second (more immediate, more tangible, much bigger) problem that I have with Family Day is that I don’t get it.  Argh!  I work for the federal government and Family Day is a provincial holiday.  So every third Monday of February, I board an empty streetcar and wind through empty city streets to the downtown core.  I enter one of its usually bustling high towers, except that day it is just a grim building with dimmed lights, and elevators on access card operation only, and the odd tumbleweed.   In addition to the offices, all the shops and restaurants in the surrounding area are closed, so heaven help you if you’ve forgotten your lunch.  My family-less co-workers and I soundlessly float through the halls and haunt our own offices until we drift back to the empty city once more.

Like I need another reason to go crazy.

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The Family that sneezes together…

I love Family Day.

What’s not to love? It’s a day off of work and school, where the only obligatory activity is to spend time with your family and relax. As this Toronto Star article states, it’s a holiday that “doesn’t involve turkeys, presents or backyard fireworks, and that’s perfectly fine with Toronto families.” It’s also perfectly fine with me.

So what did my family want to do? Well, we did have brunch planned, and we did hope to catch the re-released Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3-D (full disclosure: the kids wanted to see it. I like to pretend Star Wars movies one through three never happened…).  Maybe a nice long walk.  If time permitted, we were going to do some baking, and then curl up on the couch together to watch some TV.

What did we do? Well, Sebastian woke up with a fever on Sunday, and by Monday wasn’t any better, so he napped most of the day, and then Daniel started to look green and his tummy started to hurt, and I threw my back out sometime Sunday morning and was just starting to feel better on Monday, though my legs were still wobbly so I wasn’t up for going anywhere, really.

You get the idea. We did nothing. Bupkiss. Nada.

Except…we didn’t do nothing, exactly. We were home, together. We cuddled. We napped. We read together. The boys played lego and Wii and watched a movie.

It was relaxing and nice, and while I wish we’d been feeling better, I also recognize that it’s kind of ridiculous that we all had to get sick to have a day of blissful nothingness together.  So while I can’t say for sure that next year’s Family Day won’t involve brunch and movies, I can say this year’s was all right with me.

Happy Family Day!

Hello and Happy Family Day!

If you’re not from Ontario (or Alberta or Saskatchewan), Family Day is a statutory holiday for most employees in Ontario.  The holiday is a few years old, and is meant to pay tribute to the importance of family.  It is practically situated on the third Monday of February, during what is usually a bleak winter period (although not this year due to our strangely mild winter), and breaks up the long spell between New Year’s Day and Easter during which there are no statutory holidays.

What do you think of Family Day, and how do you spend it?  4Mothers will talk about what Family Day brings to their minds when they write here this week.