Whether you’re hoping to hunker down with hot chocolate and snuggle up with loved ones this Family Day, or head outdoors for some adventure together, BC’s newest statutory holiday offers an opportunity to do something special with the those you love.
Here’s what a few local families have planned:
Julie Miller, mom of two
For us, Family Day is a chance to disconnect, get outdoors and be together. Our plan is to cross-country ski to a friend’s cabin at Hollyburn, have hot chocolate and ski back. We will probably go out to our kids’ favourite restaurant on the way home. A day of laughter, rosy cheeks and quality time is our only goal. We may not even make it to the cabin!
Bonnie Dyck, mom of two
To me, family is a commitment you make to people you love and a choice you make every day. It’s less about making sure I spend time with family on that designated day and more about making time for quality moments every day.
Celeste Bickford, mom of two
I am at the tail end of degree, so I will likely spend a portion of the day writing my dissertation! If I’m honest, every day is Family Day here, BC-Government-sanctioned or not.
Tamar McKee, mom of two
Being American, although my country professes ‘family-first’ values, I’ve not lived in a culture that actually takes a day off to celebrate ‘family’ until the recently established Family Day in BC. I’m sure to some the day might just feel like a long weekend, but for us we will cherish it, whether we do a big ritualistic thing like a special outing or occasion, or just revel in the time off.
Both my husband and I work demanding jobs and we work equally hard to ‘be there’ for our kids—regardless of a provincial holiday or not. So, with Family Day, we might continue to knit the everyday fabric of our family ties, or we might do something more out-of-the-ordinary. We did just buy a new toboggan for littlest one’s birthday, so I suspect we might make a sledding excursion for the day.
Klaudia G, mom of one
When I think back, some of my fondest memories growing up were days spent hiking, swimming or camping with my parents and it wasn’t until having a child of my own that I really began to appreciate the importance of spending time as a family.
Life can get so chaotic that it is important to step back and realize how valuable these moments with your family can be. Your kids won’t remember you taking them shopping or driving them to soccer. They will remember how much fun you had exploring the mountains or rushing down ski hills. This year our family will enjoy the day by snowshoeing.
Larina Bouwman, mom of 1 + 2 = 3
To me, Family Day = balance. As a blended family mom, perfect family balance is something that is almost impossible to achieve. Since BC established Family Day in 2013, this has forced some balance in my large family life.
Family Day means that my sisters and I can plan a weekend away with our very busy families, and include my mom and dad. It means that my new husband and his beautiful girls get to spend time with my family and my family gets to learn more about the ins and outs of these beauties. It means that I get to snuggle beside my dad with a warm cup of coffee, or get up before everyone else and shed some tears with my mom over a coffee, sharing with her some ‘mom’ thing that I may be going through.
It means that my nieces and nephews get to share stories with me, and I’m able to listen wholeheartedly, and in person. If I am really lucky, it means a remote location where internet service is sparse, there is no cable TV, and there are decks of cards, board games, and maybe even a puzzle. Throw in a ski hill, a good old fashioned snowball fight, and a session trying to get a photo of the whole clan, and you just might have a piece of family heaven. I love my family, and am so thankful for Family Day!
What to Do, What to Do?
If you haven’t made any Family Day plans yet, here are a few ideas you might like to try:
- Snuggle up together for an afternoon of family movies, and bring some of your favourite snacks.
- Turn off the electronics and dig out the board games for some old-fashioned family fun, or curl up in a corner and read books together.
- Get out the glitter for indoor crafts – it’s a great way to occupy hands and minds, plus help develop some great skills.
- Depending on the conditions outside, head out on a hike or a snowshoe. Pack a thermos of something warm and a few treats for along the way, and host your first family picnic of 2017.
- If the weather outside is pretty frightful, bring the picnic inside. Spread a blanket out in the front room and enjoy the goodies you’ve prepared.
- Children love to bake…and lick the bowl! It might take three times longer to whip up a batch of cookies with little ones helping out, but getting kids in the kitchen is about more than just the end result.
- Extend your family for the day by inviting friends around. The little ones will love a playdate, and parents get a chance to catch up.
- Volunteer locally and use your bonus day to help others.
- Hold a family jam session! Dig out the instruments, the pots, pans, and wooden spoons and go crazy. Making music together is not only a great way to bond, it’s a great way to encourage creative freedom in a way that even the littlest can enjoy.
However you choose to spend Family Day, here’s hoping it’s a memorable one.