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Make time for Family Day

Jennifer's Journal

Family Day is on February 21 and there are plenty of things to do around Weyburn, if you are so inclined.

There is free swimming and skating thanks to the City of Weyburn's Leisure Services department. Free swimming at the Weyburn Leisure Centre takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. and free skating from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Crescent Point Place.

Other free events for families include tobogganing on South Hill and skating at the outdoor rink.

There will be twoonie matinees at the theatre on the 21st, as well as cheap tickets to the Red Wings game. In celebration of their 50th year, the Wings are rolling back the price of admission to 1961; adults get in for $2, children for $1, and kids six and under get in for free.

Some critics of this statutory holiday say that people use Family Day to shop and run errands, rather than focusing on their families. But who's to say this is a bad thing? Shopping and running errands are all crucial components of maintaining a family and the average working mom or dad are so often rushed through these necessary tasks that they can become a bothersome chore. Perhaps a day off will get these families caught up so that they can spend some quality time together.

Spending quality time and paying attention to your children is precisely why this holiday was created. Its founder, former Alberta Premier Don Getty, was dealing with his own family tragedy at the time he established Family Day in 1995. Getty's eldest son Dale was charged and convicted of cocaine possession and trafficking and Getty blamed himself for not spending enough time with his children when they were growing up.

If you have teenagers, perhaps Family Day can be used to discuss their reaction to the "Smart Youth Power Assembly" that many local youth witnessed last week. Ask them how the presentation made them feel and if the message about drugs and alcohol got through to them.

Family Day is only celebrated in three provinces. Currently, Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan celebrate Family Day; however, the day has different celebration standards in each province. In Ontario, Family Day is not a statutory holiday, as it is in Saskatchewan and Alberta. And Manitoba celebrates Louis Riel Day on the third Monday of February.

I guess we're pretty lucky to get a paid day off, considering that most of Canada will be stuck at work that day - let's use it wisely! Get those errands done and make time for the people that are most important to you.

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