Adding Fuel to Chalica's Fire

By Bart Frost

Every December, the same old argument flares up on Facebook. Before Facebook, it would blow up on Livejournal and before Livejournal it would blow up on listservs. Maybe next year, it will flare up on Instagram or we'll be having Snapchat arguments about it. What is so controversial about it that it comes around every December like FoxNews' "War on Christmas"? Chalica, of course. What I find most interesting about Chalica is how explosive it is. Every December 1st, everybody has to let their hate or love of Chalica be known. But what is Chalica? Chalica was invented by a Unitarian Universalist(UU) young adult to celebrate the holiday spirit in the manner of Festivus (which was a Seinfeld thing...I don't get it either). It came about after a discussion around the holidays and the wish for a UU holiday. A wish for a UU holiday is nothing new. An informal poll of people "raised UU" (which includes folks who found UUism as youth or young adults) reveals that almost every single one wished for or discussed a UU holiday with their peers. This poll also revealed that at various times programs like a UU boarding school or university were dreamt about as well. Friends, this is perfectly okay. If you love Unitarian Universalism and want to celebrate at home, then celebrate Chalica. Also look at other ways to bring Unitarian Universalism in to your home through artwork (guilty), spiritual practices (light a chalice), or any number of alternative practices. And my other friends, Chalica is not perfect. I hear you. It does appropriate a lot of Hanukkah practices. It does turn our principles from a covenant into a creed. But instead of complaining about it on Facebook, I challenge you to find a way to create a meaningful UU bome-based ritual. Maybe we really do need a uniquely UU holiday. Someone proposed Consolidation Sunday as a UU holiday, a celebration of both Unitarianism, Universalism and the merger of the two. In the comments below, let me know what you think Consolidation Sunday would look like. Below you can find a couple of alternatives to Chalica: From Rev. Dr. Michael Tino "A UU Home for the Holidays" From UU Church of Little Rock "Illumination" From Amy Zucker Morgenstern "A Few Words About Chalica"

About the Author

Bart Frost

Bart Frost is the former Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Previously he served as Director of Religious Education at First Church of New Orleans. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Frost has served the Association in leadership roles since he...


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