It’s Family Day in Ontario (and several other provinces). We live in Nova Scotia. I have two kids. Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been hearing a LOT about how today is Family Day all weekend because we have been watching CBC (Yay, Olympics!) and YTV – way more than on a typical weekend, because of the yucky weather – and they mentioned it quite a lot.

Now it’s Monday morning.

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

Yeah. That.

Thing 1 is in an uproar about how “everyone” else gets to stay home. Everyone? Really?

Even in Ontario (which is where the Things started school and therefore (contradictatorily) their introduction to the glory of the day off) not everyone has the day off. I saw someone refer to today in Ottawa as a “Half-Holiday”. Yes. Many people are working today.

Being the parent that I am, this led to a chat about exactly who has a holiday today. Telling me you don’t know is not helpful and doesn’t support your whining argument that you should be allowed to stay home. Find out!

So, Thing 1 wandered sloth-like towards the Mom CPU aka my beloved, awesome, perfect, old school, made of paper, calendar and was aghast to discover that “FIVE!!” places have a day off today. Never mind that one of the “places” is the United States of America celebrating President’s Day (not a Canadian province, but hey, they can hope). Four provinces are listed on February 17th as having a special day. Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, all celebrate Family Day and Manitoba observes Louis Riel Day.

Not exactly “everyone”, is it?

Poor Thing 1.

So what’s the big deal about Family Day anyway and why doesn’t everyone celebrate it? Why doesn’t Nova Scotia have a day off from school and/or work?

Well, the good news is that next year Nova Scotia will have a February holiday. It was decided, but you know, we need a whole year to prepare for the shock of a day off for just nothing. We wouldn’t want to implement it right away. That would be too much. MY GOD! Think of the children!!

So, we have a whole year to prepare for the third Monday in February, 2015. There will be a name the holiday contest and I just heard on the news that the very first to-be-named-February observance will honour Viola Desmond. You know who she is, right? I hope so! If not you should make a point of learning who she is. I’ll give you a hint. February is designated as a very special month each year for a particular aspect of our history. No. Not Valentine’s Day. No. Not the Olympics. Something much more important than either of those.

February is Black History month! That’s your hint. Go find out!

25 Comments on Family Day, we hardly knew ye.

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! and now I know. Even growing up in NS, I did not know this info. I remember the 2010 event but not what it was about. Murky Memories don’t you know? We did not have a Holiday today but we did have what’s called a “professional development” day. That could mean anything from cleaning up Teacher websites to shopping for (clears throat) school supplies, or catching up on Drs appointments?

    • I make it a point to know stuff. I always have. I want my Things to know that this province, country and world has a diverse history! Everyone knows about Rosa Parks. I think everyone should know about Viola Desmond!

      PD Days are typically *actual* professional development days in NS (and elsewhere). I can’t imagine a PD day being used for cleaning up a website! Really?

  2. Why doesn’t Nova Scotia simply call it “Family Day”? Since we are gaining a holiday, does this mean we will lose one to even things out? I am with Thing1. I think every Canadian should have a day off in February to make up for the seemingly darkest month of the year.

  3. Family day or “what do I do with my children day because we both have to work yet the school and daycare are both closed” day

    • Tummy bugs notwithstanding, we needed a day off! I’m happy for today’s sunshine, though. Lucky to have been able to see the sun early this morning. Early band days do have their merits. 😉

  4. February is such a blah month, everyone is still reeling over the Christmas bills that came in January, and you worry how to pay them. There is very little sunshine in February, and this year a lot more snow since it has been a horribly cold winter. Thus a ‘Family Day’ in February is a great idea, but it should be Canada-wide with the emphasis on “Family”. Many of us in the rush of our daily lives forgot the true meaning of “Family”.

    • I agree! It should be a National day off. It’s sad that some people take issue with the phrase “family day”. Everyone has family! Even if you are estranged from your “bio-family”, surely no one is completely alone. We are connected to each other by hook or by crook! Everyone should have the chance to reconnect with the people they are closest to.

      February is the perfect month for this!

  5. I am a big fan of take a day off if you need it day. When we were little, my mom (a SAHM) let us do it once a year. I think I will do the same with the lils… Maybe Thing 1 needs a special day in the future?

    • I am a big fan of this, as well. We call them “mental health” days and I think the world would be a better place if people really considered adding them to their lives.

      We have had quite a few days off for bad weather and in fact the Wednesday following “Family Day” was a snow day, so he’s no longer in deficit. 😉

  6. I’m grumbly about Family Day in Ontario because I work for the federal gov’t therefore no day off and DH works in Quebec therefore no day off but, as noted above, all the child care providers are mandated by law to get the day off. Who was in charge of planning THAT? Anyway, what I really wanted to comment on was the value of mental health days. I LOVE them and will start letting the boys choose to take them occasionally when they’re in high school or at least a little bit older.

    • I think it is sending the wrong message to have a day dedicated to “family” and then make gov’t employees work. I mean, what *exactly* is the message, there?

      I think “Family Day” (under its various monikers) should be a statutory National holiday.

      Oh, and mental health days are the best. Everyone should get a chance to hit the “reset” button now and again.

      Thank you so much for visiting, reading and commenting. It really means a lot!

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