Just a thought… In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other. [Linda Ellerbee]
Happy Monday! For reasons that are entirely beyond me, British Columbia marks Family Day today. Of course, since it’s not observed nationally either today or next Monday, when most of the rest of the country takes the day off, it means that federal workers will show up at work – doesn’t it? I’m sure that makes for a cheery day at the office.
This is what I do know: I’m lucky to have a day off from my radio show on Ocean 98.5 in Victoria, even though I would happily have done one today if they’d asked, but most of the rest of the country – except federal workers – are off next Monday. I bet you can’t wait.
But here’s the thing: it’s not even called Family Day across the country! For example, in Manitoba it’s Louis Riel Day, in PEI it’s Islander Day, while in Nova Scotia they celebrate Heritage Day. Yay! Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan will just mark good ol’ Family Day, leaving out Newfoundland and Labrador, the territories and Quebec, which don’t take a Monday off in February at all! While in the Yukon, the holiday is the Friday before the last Sunday of the month – so, the 23rd.
Have you got all of that? Yeah, me neither.
The holiday for almost all of Canada will coincide, as always, with the big car and mattress sale event in the US known as Presidents’ Day, but is officially called Washington’s Birthday. And although it falls on February 19th this year, George Washington was actually born on February 22nd, but no one wants a holiday in the middle of the week unless, of course, it’s Canada Day. And then we tack on a couple of extra days and make it a nice long weekend in the summer!
Come to think of it, is a long weekend in February a good thing? I remember when the idea was first floated (was it in a beer commercial?) and I tend to think it is; any day that many Canadians don’t have to get up and battle snow and cold is a good day. You stay inside, you cocoon, you may even take advantage of that extra day to get away some place warm. That’s what our little family used to do on Family Day.
The important thing is making memories. I’m not sure if it has the same meaning if you’re saluting Louis Riel, but I’ve no doubt it’s a great spark to learn about the founder of Manitoba and the leader of the Métis people. I haven’t thought much about Riel since high school so I, for one, am grateful for the name. See how that all works?
Have a gentle Monday and hang in there – your long weekend (if you’re reading this anywhere but in BC) is on its way, probably. I promise not to have too much fun. Tomorrow: a big day for radio.