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Toronto, February 12 (CINEWS): In Ontario, Family Day came into force on October 12, 2007. Ever since, Family Day was held on the third Monday in February. The idea behind giving Ontarians a holiday in the middle of winter was to give them the opportunity to pause, relax, take a break and catch up with the things that matter to them most- family.
Besides Ontario Family Day is a statutory holiday in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Saskatchewan.
Having spoken to over a dozen families on the subject what emerges is that the Family Day holiday doesn’t benefit all Ontarians and because of circumstances, not everyone enjoys it like it was intended.
“This holiday doesn’t really help people like me who have older teenagers. It is great for parents who have smaller children. For us, it makes no difference at all,” said Pankaj Dave.
Jasmine Bajaj’ husband has to work so she is tasked with keeping her two young daughters entertained all day. It is not exactly a family day for her without her husband around that day, if he was, they could then have considered taking off on the long weekend out of town or perhaps planned some activities further from home.
Many young parents have to work and so that ends up entailing baby-sitting costs. It is one more headache because their kids have to be kept somewhere.
Some parents pointed out that because Family Day falls in the middle of winter, it really limits the kind of activities that are possible or safe. It really means that parents and kids who aren’t the outdoorsy kind, who don’t care much for winter sports, skating or snow shoeing can’t really opt to hit the slopes or go skating at a ice rink. That leaves parents with no alternative but to take them to an indoor amusement park with rides and games that cost a lot of money. Then ofcourse going out means eating out. For many families living in precarious economic conditions, these sort of small expenses can really cause stress which can end up impacting the family as children may not understand why they can’t join their friends at Laser Quest, watch a movie or eat out like others. Thousands of children and their parents will unfortunately end up cocooned at home either watching television for hours mindlessly or catching up on sleep. For the growing number of single people living on their own, it will mean hanging out with friends whom they consider to be like family.
But for those who are fortunate to have decent jobs and a bit of disposable income, Family Day is bliss, the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and smell the coffee.