With B.C.'s first Family Day coming up on Monday, the new holiday begs a bigger question: What makes a family?
As big as that question is, the answers are just as endless.
To some, it's their dog, cat, budgie, ferret, turtle or even monkey.
To others, maybe even most, family is what people make of it.
As people get older, holidays change their meanings.
If you are past an age where you are hoping for Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse and not sleeping a wink the night before in hopes of seeing the big bearded man in the red suit, or putting your fallen tooth under your pillow, or searching the backyard for hours in hopes of collecting dyed eggs - holidays sometimes morph into an event that you just have to make it through.
As the old saying goes - you can choose your friends but not your family. The other popular saying is "My family is crazy." To which everyone within ear shot responds with - YOUR family is crazy, wait until you hear about MY crazy uncle."
All of us have our own trials and tribulations, but on Family Day this year, we should take a moment (perhaps over a cocktail) and show thanks to the people that make our family - no matter how alternative that tableau may look.
The saying should actually go a step further to acknowledge that our friends choose every day to be our family, whereas we are stuck with our nutty aunts and cranky grannies.
Whether your family is composed of folks that share your bloodline, or is made up of people that just love you for you, despite the flaws - the point remains - family is important. Everyone needs to know they have a cheering section in life and someone to witness the wins and the losses, the glory and the embarrassment.
Family Day is a great time to acknowledge the non-nuclear families - the Brady Bunch families of step-brothers and step-sisters, the two mom and two dad families and especially for the single parents who soldier on.
Whoever makes up your family, Monday is a reminder to spend time with them, because that is really what a family is - a group of people that share combined memories and experiences.
But we have to acknowledge that, for some, spending time with our biological family is too painful or even too dangerous, because of abuse. Ask anyone who works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development the horrors family members are able to inflict upon one another in our own community to find out how bitter tasting even the idea of a Family Day can be.
There's the crazy uncle who cheats at cards, even when playing with the kids, and then there's the dangerous uncle that you wouldn't dare leave alone in a room to play with your kids.
So let's not take Family Day too seriously and force it on those from shattered families, who suffered through abuse and addiction.
So if you don't get along with your family, or if there is some drama taking place, do your best to mend it but if you've done that already, then bring your new family, in whatever shape that has taken, close to you. You know who they are - families are supposed to support, encourage and not keep tabs.
So whoever it is in your life that gives you that freedom to be yourself, on Monday seek them out and spend some time creating memories with them. Because blood may technically be thicker than water, but that's not the only definition of what a family means.