Family daze

For the month with the fewest days, February really has a lot to offer. Black History Month events, speeches and workshops across the city. Chinese New Year celebrations almost everywhere you turn. Endless amounts of red decorations, roses and chocolates lining the shopping centres around Valentine’s Day.

Feb. 21, however, is Family Day. It’s still a relatively new holiday — having only been around since 2008. In its three short years, the statutory holiday hasn’t made much of a dent in Canadian culture. This is expected. It’s just another day off, right?

Not if you decide to call it “Family Day.”

The term “family” carries with a lot of weight. Your family is your blood. Your family is your support. Your family is who you are.

When Dalton McGuinty initially proposed the idea, he did so with the intent that the holiday would put into perspective where our priorities should be as a society — that we should all look past our work commitments, stresses, and the daily clutter of things to appreciate the power of family.

As a society, we haven’t lost track of the holiday’s meaning. There simply hasn’t been any meaning instilled into us. Taking a Monday in February and trying to make it something of value in the eyes of society does not happen overnight

But it is something that can happen. Family, after all, is a concept that is more universal than any religious, governmental or national holiday.

According to the Government of Canada, 70 per cent of Canadian residences are classified as being “family households”. That’s about 21 million Canadians who are living in homes with relatives.

There are many Family Day activities in the city planned for Feb. 21 — and we encourage you to participate in them — but why limit appreciation for your family to a Monday in February?

If the holiday doesn’t carry any meaning for you now, look at it as a reminder. Let it be a reminder to value the relationships that you have with your relatives. Let it be a reminder to give thanks for all they have done for you.

Let Feb. 21 be a reminder that every day is family day.