Well, did you take advantage of our newly implemented Family Day yesterday? According to the Ministry of Labour’s website, “There’s nothing more valuable to families than time together.” And I’d have to agree.

Except I’ve heard a lot of grumbling and mumbling about this holiday. Many people wonder why it was placed in February when the weather is often harsh. According to the ministry, “The time between New Year’s Day and Easter is long and people need a rest.”

Whatever the reason, why look a gift horse in the mouth? We have to live through February anyway, so why not get a day off on one of those cold, winter days when all you want to do is stay home in bed? And who wouldn’t love the chance to have a slow morning, and not run out the door dragging kids to school and programs, while racing the clock to make it to work on time, all the while fighting the traffic and road conditions?


But there are two things to consider: First, why doesn’t everybody get the holiday? And why isn’t it a national holiday? Do only Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan appreciate their residents and their sense of family? (Ontarians have Premier Dalton McGuinty to thank.) What’s with those other provinces?

But will all the eligible companies take this holiday seriously and let their employees have a free day without contacting them by e-mail or on their BlackBerrys? I guess we’ll find out over time.

So, did you spend time with your family? If you did, great. If not, don’t worry about it. Since it was the first time we’ve had this holiday, many people might not have planned well. Waking up without the alarm, wondering what your partner is still doing in bed, and how on earth you’re going to entertain the kids all day can be discombobulating if you’re not prepared.

No worries — next year you’ll be ready. Try putting as much effort into this day as you do, say, for Valentine’s Day. Plan for the long weekend and take advantage. Get out of town, go skiing or snowboarding if you can — that extra day makes the drive even more worthwhile.

If you stay in the city, make plans to do something fun, something you don’t often get to do because we’re so busy with our daily routines and any free time we find is filled up with errands and chores. Take the family bowling, for example, or to an afternoon matinee. Visit extended family, such as cousins, or grandparents, that you don’t often get to see.

Or, if the weather is nasty, stay home and in your pyjamas all day. Play board games, read, do arts and crafts.

It won’t matter how you spend the next Family Day, as long as you spend it with people who you love.