After trying out Chalica all week, I think I'm sold on the concept. The chance to review the principles was very nice, and the worship service I put together for Sunday morning's Childrens Chapel did just that and was well-received by the kids.
But it was the family-sized celebration that was the most valuable to me. So much of what we do as Unitarian Universalists is centered around the congregation - in fact, you can't technically be considered a UU unless you are a member of a congregation. But in congregations, we focus so much of our attention on BIG ideas, BIG issues, and collective action - which is all great and not to be knocked!
However, as my family gathered around a candle to talk about a principle, we ended up focusing on really personal and intimate interpretations of them all. "Acceptance of each other" ended up being a heated conversation about what irritating tics and habits we accept and what we complain about and encourage change in! "A free and responsible search for truth and meaning" became a long list of all the things we wonder about: what happens after you die, is the universe really expanding, what existed before the Big Bang, what the heck really is a quark, and what would it feel like to go in a black hole? "Peace and justice for all" naturally led to a conversation about avoiding family fights.
It was a lovely week, with some lovely conversations and a chance to remind ourselves of the principles and explain their meaning to the kids. Chalica could be celebrated anytime, so if the month of December already feels too full to you (it does to me), there is no reason why this family practice couldn't be done at a different time.
Others blogged the holiday as well:
While others just cringe: