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The recipe for a perfect February holiday

Mix friends, family and a bit of fun - and we welcome HRPA members to our family
Family Day in Ontario
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By Todd Humber

The older I get, the more I enjoy the small things in life. The lure of the latest mammoth 4K big screen TV can’t compete with a crackling fire on a cold and windy Sunday morning. The gifts piled under the tree mean nothing compared to just having the family gathered around the table on Christmas Day.

Our newest, and perhaps my favourite, holiday is just around the corner. Family Day — the much-needed February long weekend — lands on the third Monday of the month in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. British Columbia, just to be different, celebrates the second Monday. To the other provinces, I can only say this: You’re missing out.

Most of the country is coming out of the dead of winter. Wiarton Willie has called for an early spring, and Shubenacadie Sam simply nodded his agreement. On the job front, we’ve been running on all four cylinders since we shook off the New Year’s Eve hangover. Family Day is a perfectly timed break to stop, gather those we love the most and enjoy a bit more Canadian winter before it gives way to the groundhog’s inevitable prognostications.

Family Day was launched in Ontario in 2008, so enough time has passed to build both traditions and memories. I don’t have a large family. My father passed away when I was 21, and I lost my mom three years ago. I have a sister, whom I love, but she lives hundreds of kilometres away so the chances to see her and my niece and nephew — Caity and Henry — are scarce. I have four first cousins but they’ve cozied up to the coasts — two in Halifax, and two in Kelowna, B.C., not exactly spitting distance from my home north of Toronto.

I don’t have children so, though it’s cliché, friends have become my family. There’s Doug, who I met while paddling a canoe at age 15. I instantly hated him, but we became fast friends and he’s closer to me than any brother. Or my buddy Jay, a bigger-than-life “force of nature” — my mom’s term — who did so much for the family when my mother was ill and I was far away. He inherited her fridge, which he has named “Bonnie” in her honour and keeps well stocked with adult beverages in his garage. She’d approve.

And then there’s my partner and absolute best friend — and isn’t it magic when those two things happen? She’s Greek, so really doesn’t understand phrases like “small family” or “quiet time.” We spent our first Family Day together last year, loading her two kids into the car and heading north for a ski trip that quickly turned into a snowshoeing adventure. (Alright, there’s the one rub when it comes to Family Day — massive lines at almost any attraction.)

That leisurely walk through the woods (well, more of a run at times for the teenagers among us) left me with a grin that did more than enough to get me through to spring.

In the HR world, we welcome a new family to our table with the Feb. 20 issue of Canadian HR Reporter. For the first time, every member of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) — that’s 23,000 members — is getting a copy. That’s because HR Professional, HRPA’s magazine, ceased its print publication at the end of 2016. We’re now the exclusive way to reach this audience in this manner.

So welcome, HRPA members, to the 35,000 plus professionals from across Canada who already read this publication every two weeks.

We’re doing four of these special issues in 2017 — Feb. 20, April 17, June 12 and Sept. 4. So look for them to land on your desktop. We hope you like what you see — and you’re only getting a sliver of the access you could. Canadian HR Reporter publishes 21 issues per year, plus your subscription gets you the digital edition, the weekly newswire and complete access to hrreporter.com featuring tens of thousands of stories on all areas of HR.

On behalf of all the staff at Canadian HR Reporter, we welcome this exciting new audience to the family and wish all of you the best as you celebrate this newest of holidays.

When I wake up on that Monday morning, the television will be off, the coffee will be brewing and, with any luck, there will be a few snowflakes making the journey when I pile that extra log on the fire. 

© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.

Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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