Saturday, November 26, 2011

'Tis the Season & Chalica

I have a very strict "no celebration of Christmas before Thanksgiving rule." It it not because I don't love the Christmas season, I do, but I want to keep it somewhat sacred - not just commercial(see my other blog for my dad's assessment). Plus, while I am not so hip to how it came about, I do like setting a side a day just to be thankful - especially with family. I like that there is little expectation beyond eating and spending time together. This year we threw in a dads vs. kids football game. Totally fun, although, the dads/grandpas required some Motrin afterwards. We may rethink that next year! Anyway, it was really lovely and I am so thankful to have such a fantastic family.

Anyone out there planning on celebrating Chalica? It is coming up pretty quick. I plan on blogging about it again, but would be very curious to see how others are celebrating.


Paul Oakley said...

I agree with you that each holiday should be kept in its season. The problem is deciding when the season for each begins and ends and whether the secular and religious observances need to coincide.

Formally, Christmas does not begin until December 25 and then lasts for 12 days. Before Christmas comes Advent which, until bastardized in commercial culture as a countdown to the main gift-giving day, was nothing of the kind but a solemn period of reflection and repentance in preparation for but separate from Christmas. Its liturgical color is the purple of repentance, like Lent.

Of course, there are variations among the Christianities. Is Advent 40 days to match Lent? Or does it begin with the 4th Sunday before Xmas?

In any case, Advent has been chewed up and spit out by commercial culture and turned into the time for office parties and various revelry before a single-day Xmas. By the 12th day of Christmas, people have already long since exchanged the gifts they didn't want for what they weren't given. And people are stuck with a great divide between secular holiday seasons and serious observance of the religious holidays...

As for Chalica, where I am right now in my life, I am not inspired or moved by it. If you are, I will do my best to stay out of your way.

plaidshoes said...

I agree with your thoughts, Paul. I find it fascinating about how few people don't realize that Christmas begins on the 25th and lasts for 12 days AFTER that (as you noted). I actually love Advent and how it is supposed to be a time of reflection. I wish people would look at it more like that and not a time to see how many sales they can hit up at the stores for crap people don't really want.

To me, Chalica isn't as moving as Advent, but it has been a great tool for our family to discuss what UU is all about.

Sara said...

I already love my Christmas traditions we do as a family, including that we have a "Yule Log" with 12 little candles in it and we light one each night and make a wish for the coming year. We usually start that on the solstice, so it doesn't quite line up with the 12 days of Christmas, but that was my mom's inspiration when she created the tradition when I was a kid.

Last year I did Chalica also in December, and found there just wasn't room for it in a season where my family was already celebrating both the pagan and the Christian holidays. But I did find it useful to do with the kids, so we're going to save it this year and do it in January.