Chalica is a uniquely Universalist Unitarian holiday dreamed up by Darlene Marshall in 2005. It’s not surprising if you have never heard of it, as it’s a grassroots-type of celebration. In Marshall’s words, “I’ve let [Chalica] take on a life of its own. It can either be a serious spiritual exercise or a fun thing to do. All holidays evolve through the people who celebrate them.”
So, what is Chalica and when it is celebrated? Chalica is an invitation to spend a day or a week with each of the principles, reflecting on their meaning and doing a good deed focused on each one.
The celebration starts the first Monday in December. Each day or week of Chalica, an evening chalice is lit and homemade gifts may be given and received. Gifts can be made bought, verbal, written, acts, and the creating of new traditions unique to your family.
Our congregation will be celebrating Chalica for seven weeks to give time to explore in a deeper way, each principle.
Week 1: December 2 – 8
We light our chalice to celebrate that each person is important.Unitarian Universalists create communities of compassion and welcoming.You do not have to do anything to earn the love contained within these walls.You do not have to be braver, smarter, stronger, better than you are in this momentTo belong here, with us.
Erika Hewitt, adapted
– Do something special for yourself!
– Gather family or friends and plan a mean where everyone’s favorite food is represented.
– Send a thank-you card to someone; celebrating the differences between you and them.
– Write down and share what you love about another. Give that person your list.
– Send a card expressing forgiveness or apology
Big Orange Splot by D.Manus Pinkwater and Daniel ManusPinkwater
Owen and Mzee by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, Paula Kahumbu and Peter Greste
On the Night you were Born by Nancy
Week 2: December 9 – 15
We light our chalice to celebrate being kind in all we do.
– As a family, try to go the day without arguing.
– Do something nice for someone else.
– Donate stuff to someone who doesn’t have as much as you.
– Display kindness and care to those around you.
– Exchange small care packages to other as a family.
– Cheer up a friend or neighbor and help out where you can.
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood and Cheng-Khee Chee
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper and Gabi Swiatkowska
Love you Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
Week 3: December 16 – 22
We light our chalice to celebrate that we are free to learn together.
– Take part in an event at your church
– Read a book to a smaller child, yourself, or another.
– As a family, learn how to play a new game together.
– Attend a lecture, go to the museum, see a play, talk with others around you.
– At school offer help to other students, and accept help as well.
– Cook a pie, make a paper airplane—share your gifts with others
– Teach someone something, and, conversely, listen and learn
Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkinson and Nancy Carpenter
Maria’s Comet by Deborah Hopkinson and Deborah Lanino
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Week 4: December 23 – 29
We light our chalice to celebrate that we can search for what is true.
– Practice Chalica, and learn about Unitarian Universalism.
– Practice how you would talk about Unitarian Universalism in one minute or less.
– Create your own Unitarian Universalism traditions, food, and celebrations.
– Have a discussion about religion. What do you give your heart to? How do you want to appear in the world?
– Talk with a friend about their beliefs. Be open.
– Explore another religions’ traditions, food, and celebrations.
Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood, P.J. Lynch
God In Between by Sandy
Eisenberg Sasso ,Sally Sweetland
Elijah’s Angels by Michael J. Rosen, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Week 5: December 30 – January 5
We light our chalice to celebrate that all people need a voice.
– Begin or continue with good energy family meetings giving a voice to all family members.
– Plan a special mean with family and/or friends, and hold a vote on what you’ll eat.
– Advocate, get involved, stand-up for someone on the playground.
– Listen, deeply. Be a friend.
-Get involved in your local political scene, offer help, or get involved with voter registration.
If I were President by Catherine Stier and Diane DiSalvo-Ryan
D is for Democracy: A Citizen’s Alphabet by Elissa Grodin and Victor Juhasz
Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
Week 6: January 6 – January 12
We light our chalice to celebrate that we can build a fair and peaceful world.
– Volunteer; make a plan to volunteer regularly.
– Donate food, clothing, items to Loaves and Fishes.
– Donate to your favorite charity or on behalf of someone else to a charity they are passionate about.
– Hold a fundraiser; make a plan.
Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child and Christopher Manson
Henry Climbs a Mountain by D.B. Johnson
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Week 7: January 13 – January 19
We light our chalice to celebrate that we care for Earth’s lifeboat.
– Go green at home; start composting, recycle more, bike more. Choose as a family and commit to it.
– Advocate that your workplace or school be more eco-friendly.
– Shop local; plan to make a vegetarian or vegan meal.
– Reuse, reduce, recycle, and repair; turn “trash” into a work of art, or something else useful.
– Clean-up litter wherever you can.
The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer and Jesse Reisch
The Everything Seed by Carole Martignacco and Joy Troyer
From Lava to Life by Jennifer Morgan and Dana Lynne Andersen