Today is Family Day for those of us who live in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, or Saskatchewan. Family Day was first observed in 2007 in New Brunswick, and it was created in order to give people a paid day off in February to rest and spend time with their families.
Ontario first began observing it in 2008, and I’m hoping that all of the non-participating provinces will join in with the rest of us soon.
I should note that, at least here in Toronto, Family Day is not only marketed to parents and their young children. I’ve seen ads for everything from pet-friendly venues to hiking opportunities for adults in our beautiful national parks. While there’s certainly a lot of stuff for kids to do today, there are plenty of other activities for many other types of families as well. I love the diversity of that.
If it were possible to spend today with fictional families, these are the folks I’d text to see if they wanted to go ice skating, play board games, go on a hike, or listen to live music with me today.
The Weasley Family from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
Yes, I know I talk about the Potterverse a lot on this blog. There’s something about the characters in it that keep me coming back for more year after year, and this is especially true for the boisterous Weasley clan.
Some of the best scenes in this series happened in the Weasley’s home. They were so quick to share what they had with anyone who needed it even though they were definitely not a wealthy family by any stretch of the imagination. There’s something so endearing about that.
I also feel like they’d make for wonderful, friendly competition for a snowball fight. Well, as long as nobody knew what spell to use to make snowballs do something more mischievous than usual…
The Addams Family
When I was a kid, my family wavered between having a TV and taking breaks from living with one. When we did have a TV, it was common for us to only be able to watch the channels that could be seen for free if you had an antenna and the wind was blowing the right way. (This is only a partial joke. The weather really could influence what channels we could get on stormy days from what I recall!)
Due to this, I spent far more time watching shows that stopped airing decades before my birth than I did anything contemporary until I was in middle school.
The Addams Family was my first introduction to the scarier side of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, and I adored it. The term scary should be in parentheses there, though. I was fascinated by the monsters on this show, not frightened of them.
And the bonds between all of the members of the Addams family were so tight and loving that I was nothing but amused by their dark jokes and carnivorous pet plants. They really did have good hearts beneath their sometimes-gruff exteriors.
This isn’t even to mention the fact that it would be really cool to meet Cousin It in person! If you don’t know who that is, consider it encouragement to watch an episode or two.
The Simpson Family
Once my family got a television, (temporarily) signed up for cable service, and began watching more contemporary programs, I quickly learned which show I enjoyed the most: The Simpsons!
I loved the tongue-in-cheek humour in this cartoon. No matter what happened to any of the Simpsons, you knew they’d always be back to their old selves by the following week. The continuity of that was just as delightful as the jokes that occasionally pushed the envelope.
There was also something fascinating about the thought of a community that didn’t age and rarely changed. Bart, Lisa, and Maggie should be well into adulthood by now, but somehow they’re all still the same ages they were when we first met them.
I know there have been some changes to this universe over the years – for example, the death of one of the secondary characters, and another episode in which a different character adopted a baby from China – but it’s remained remarkably consistent outside of those moments from what I can recall.
It sure would be interesting to meet the Simpsons in person if such a thing were possible and see if they realize just how long they’ve remained more-or-less the same!
Which fictional families would you want to spend Family Day with?