On the second or third Monday of February (depending on the province), Canadians celebrate a unique and worthy event – Family Day. This day is set aside to honour families and their importance to communities and the nation. Strong families equal strong communities and a strong country. What a wonderful thing to celebrate!
There are plenty of ways to celebrate this holiday. Some people visit museums and art galleries. Others have a big family meal. Some families go all out and take the three-day weekend to get away. A mini-vacation with the kids is a fantastic way to celebrate. There is no set way to celebrate, so long as the whole family joins in the fun.
National Heritage Day falls on the same date in most provinces. Wouldn’t it be fun to gather the family and dig up your roots together? Grab those boxes of pictures in the attic and start sorting and identifying long-forgotten loved ones. Usually a trip down memory lane will bring up stories of great-grandpa’s adventure in the Nova Scotia or how great-great-grandmother brought up 14 children on a farm. Children love to hear these stories because they give them connections to their past. Take the fun a step further and make a DVD. Use pictures to create a gene-path that leads from great-great-grandpa in the mines to the day he met or married great-great-grandma all the way down to your children. This is a wonderful way to document family history for future generations. Some internet research could take your lineage much farther back than the pictures in the attic. You may even find you are related to royalty (or well-known gun-slingers!) What a story for your children to tell at school next week.
Get outdoors for Family Day. Yes, it’s cold, but you are a hearty Canadian. Book a cottage for the holiday weekend near a provincial park. Strap on snowshoes and start hiking. Frozen lakes, ice-crusted trees and feathery snowflakes make the outdoors a magical place to explore. Ice skating in the great outdoors with huge mountains flanking the natural rink is great exercise and a lot of fun. Kids will burn off a lot of energy too. When you are finished, head back to the cottage for hot cocoa.
Family Day can be used to get things done. Spend the long weekend painting your child’s bedroom. Allowing them to pick colours and help with the painting will improve their independence. Let them hang new curtains and place the new spread on the bed. Wall decals are easy to apply and remove. They are cheap and add pizzazz to a room. Children can choose from flowers, superheroes, geometric designs – the lists go on and on. When they move on from Barbie to fairies, just pull them off the wall and put up the new ones. It is easy and cheap to give a child their dream room.
Maybe Family Day is a project in the making for you and your spouse. Take the weekend to go on a romantic getaway. A cozy cottage on the beach is a great setting to start that family. Watch the storms brewing far out to sea as you enjoy a candle-lit dinner together. Who knows? Maybe next year you will be bringing your newborn to the cottage for Family Day.
The most important thing to remember is to connect with each other. Disconnect from social media, work and any other interruptions and really focus on your family. After all – family is what Family Day is all about.