“Family Day” is a provincial statutory holiday in most of Canada – providing a day off work and school during February. As a rather new holiday for most jurisdictions, Ontario’s latest Family Day (yesterday) got us thinking about i) what family means, and ii) what do people do on Family Day when they are not near their loved ones??
Is Family Day an opportunity for strengthening family ties? Do all the generations come together and celebrate? Did you get outside to play in the snow? Or was it a day to sleep in, watch TV and maybe play video games? Maybe you headed to the cottage for the whole weekend or took a quick getaway with just your immediate family.
Indoors or Outdoors?
If you’re anything like our founder, Lee, you took a look through some fabulous websites and program guides to find some interesting options available within driving distance. https://www.todocanada.ca/family-day-weekend-ontario-festivals-getaways/ But, with a PeeWee playoff hockey game on the Sunday evening schedule, Lee’s outdoor adventure this year was limited to taking the puppy to the leash-free dog park nearby.
Family, Friends, Community
How do you even define your ‘family’ in this day & age?? Is it biological + adopted + step-family members? Some people divulge intimate secrets to their hair dresser, manicurist, bartender or others who could be considered extended family. We often spend more time with our neighbours than with traditional ‘family’ members. And using social media and video games, people can be ‘friends’ without ever having met – or they can deepen friendships and family relationships by connecting online rather than in person.
With Social Robots, one of the first steps when we sign up a new ‘family’ is to create a ‘family tree’… but we already included ‘pets’ in our sample! Based on this year’s Family Day musings, we might have to rethink the name. What we really want to do is help seniors keep in touch with their loved ones, their social circle, people who care – whether they are biological family, friends or other valued community members.