Today is officially designated "Family Day" for the first time in British Columbia. It is already a special day in several provinces of Canada. The day is meant to be precious time spent with one's family rather than working. The thinking behind this warm and cosy day is that it also provides a nice break between New Year's and Easter--finally a holiday in February. Valentine's and Chinese New Year doesn't count. And, the weather, though cloudy and overcast, is agreeably holding for a number of family-oriented events, both indoors and outdoors.
The odd thing is the day is a provincial holiday, not a federal one, so postal workers, the stock market and all federal offices are open and working on this Monday. A wonderful free source for families, the Public Library, is closed as it falls under provincial jurisdiction.
I've often wondered just who benefits from all the special and/or statutory holidays throughout the year. At last count, BC has one official holiday each month. Death and crime do not take holidays nor does any illness or injury requiring hospital and/or emergency care. Police and paramedics are still needed for this one day as well as anyone else who needs to perform a public service including restaurants, coffee-houses, theatres and shopping malls. And, what about all the families who need to work to provide the necessities for their children? Yes, it is supposed to be a day with your family but a number of family events costs money to attend and for some families, there is no money to spare.
I liked what one writer wrote to the editor of the daily paper. He said, "Why do we have to designate an official day to spend with family? When I was growing up, 'Family Day' was Sunday."