In some ways, it is surprising that it took so long for Family Day to become a holiday. When people were naming awareness days, such as No Tobacco Day (May 31) and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19), it seems as if family should have been higher on the list.
After all, most holidays are focused around hearth and home. Whether it’s opening stockings at Christmas or roasting marshmallows on Canada Day, we all have our unique family traditions that have evolved slowly over time.
This is evident in the discussion of a young couple as they decide which of their childhood memories will be incorporate into their new holiday events.
Does Christmas require a midnight present? Does the Easter treasure hunt involve hand-decorated boiled eggs or store-bought chocolate ones? Who carves the Thanksgiving turkey? Each decision that is made adds another layer to our collective memories.
Much of what we look forward to on these days has simply evolved through the years, such as the game of frisbee that helps kill time before the fireworks begin at night, or the song that Grandpa always sings while building the fire.
As each family tradition evolves, some activities strengthen over time, while others fall by the wayside (such as B.C. Day salmon fondue). They grow slowly and each person adds their unique touch that will be carried forward to the next generation.
Of course, that is not how Family Day is going to work this year. It has never been done before, so what this holiday means is open to interpretation – and that weighty decision rests on your shoulders.
Will it be quiet time inside by the fire, playing board games and drinking cider? Will your family bundle up and venture outside? Is it the perfect day to tackle spring cleaning before going out for dinner and a movie? The choice is yours.
Just remember that whatever you decide will be the foundation for the holiday tradition that your family will engage in from now on. When your great-grandchildren sit at their grandmother’s knee and she tells them the story of “The First Family Day” – Feb. 11, 2013 is day that she will be talking about.
That’s a lot of pressure for a Monday.
Yet you’ll find a way to fill the day with familial fun. The hours away from work and school will take shape and become the basis for what happens next year and the year after that, to be repeated indefinitely.
That tradition will grow over time, and the changes to it will be delightfully unexpected – much like your family. Perfect.
Wishing you and yours a very happy first Family Day.