Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trim the Tree, and Why We Won't be Starting Chalica Tomorrow


We had to hack the top off the tree and then just twist-tie the angel to the top - so much for my husband thinking the tree would fit with our new tall ceilings! Next year, we measure BEFORE we set it up in the stand!





It's a UU tree: there's a solstice sun on it, some angels, lots of homemade stuff, peace doves, a felt chalice, lots of fair-trade multicultural stuff. It's also our family tree, so there are lego ornaments and family heirloom ornaments.

But as much as I enjoy hanging my homemade chalice ornament on my Christmas tree, I won't be starting Chalica tomorrow with my family. I'm not anti-Chalica (we did try it last year), it's just that I'm a bit busy with other holidays. Really - based on family history, tradition, and custom we already celebrate both Solstice and Christmas. And then at church we throw in Hanukkah and Rohatsu as well. There are multiple parties to go to, plays and ballets to see, special baking to do, packages and cards to mail, shopping and gift-making to do, 24 days of Advent, 12 Days of Yule candles, greening of our home and church, charity-giving and doing, special music to listen to and sing, cookies to be carried to neighbors, bird-seed hanging, and more that I'm probably forgetting right now. With all that leading up to the darkest day of the year, why do I need yet another candle-lighting tradition, this time involving 7 days of lighting our chalice?

Chalica is a fine idea - a great way to emphasize the 7 Principles and our family's UU identity with my kids. I have no visceral or philosophical dislike of the idea - just no room to fit it in where the holiday-creators are trying to make it go. How much better it seems to me to put in January. It's still just as dark and dreary in January, so some family ritual around a candle lighting will be most welcome. But in January, there's no real competition for the holiday spotlight and it will fit into our lives. We will actually be able to focus on Chalica in January, no longer distracted by Christmas and Solstice.

That's why we aren't going to start it tomorrow, with the rest of the crowd. I'm saving it for January, and you'll probably hear all about it then.

What about you? Any UU's out there going to try Chalica this year?


  1. We're not doing Chalica. We're barely doing Christmas, haha. Solstice is getting observed more from the fact we live in the Northern part of the country than anything else ;)

    I love your lego ornaments.

  2. What a gorgeous tree!

    There is only so much celebrating that you can cram into one month...I think saving something for January is a great idea!