Family Day is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan on the third Monday of February. In British Columbia, Family Day falls on the second Monday of February. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.
On Family Day, many people plan and take part in activities aimed at the whole family. These include visiting art exhibitions, watching movies, skating on outdoor ice rinks, playing board games and taking part in family focused activities. Some communities plan special public events, and art galleries and museums may have reduced price or free entry.
As the weather is usually very cold in February, hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies are popular snacks. Other people use the long weekend as an opportunity for a short winter break or to travel to visit family members or friends. As Family Day falls on the same date as National Heritage Day (except in British Columbia), some people use the day to explore their personal heritage and family history. Family Day was first held in Canada in the province of Alberta in 1990. Alberta Premier Don Getty proclaimed the day as being important for all Albertans to take time for their families and hoped that this holiday would emphasize the importance of family values. (The origin of the holiday in Alberta has a significant back story. Premier Don Getty was in the mid 1990s facing significant scandal because his son had been arrested for possession and use of cocaine. Since publicity could not be avoided, Getty publicly expressed his regret and blamed himself for not spending as much time with his family as he should have. In response, the Lieutenant Governor, Helen Huntley, instituted Family Day.)
I think Mr. Getty’s heart was definitely in the right place when he proposed this family holiday. Certainly in our family we have enjoyed the long weekend in past years, especially because it does break up the long winter doldrums that tend to set in a couple of weeks after Christmas. We try to spend the day with family (as much as possible), and this weekend we started with a salmon BBQ at my daughter and son-in-law’s, and I got some extra time to cuddle with my grandson! Then yesterday, we went to Lake Louise to see the Ice Sculptures there at the Chateau. My younger daughter and her beau accompanied us and when we got home, my son dropped in so his Mama could get in her weekly hug before he scooted back to his little rented basement suite…so all in all it was a pretty great weekend.
If the purpose of Family Day was to spend time with family, I think we succeeded. However, Mr. Getty also hoped that the holiday would emphasize the importance of family values and that got me to thinking about how we can succeed with that if we don’t know what our family values? There’s got to be more to this than just looking at ice sculptures and taking a pleasant car trip into the mountains. So I have compiled some scripture verses that I hope Christian families will read and apply next Family Day…as well as every day leading up to it!
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Proverbs 1:8
” A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.” Proverbs 15:20
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation”. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2: 14-16
“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children–” Psalm 103:17
“He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.” Proverbs 11:29
“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31: 15-17
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15