Whether or not we personally celebrate Christmas, ’tis a season of being bombarded with the idea that we need to “Go big or go home!” when it comes to gifts, fun, family, celebration, and everything else. Ironically, that message can leave us anxious, worn out, adrift, cranky, unappreciative, and guilty for how we’re feeling. After all, life always has obnoxious circumstances. As a countermeasure to that which is consistently annoying, author T. Wise recommends a quick reset that he calls a “pet fave.” The opposite of a pet peeve, he defines a pet fave(orite) as “that kind of thing that we love because it’s just satisfying.” This practice of recognizing minor pleasing details can help us find grounding, wherever we might be in our holiday observances, and open us to joy.
Rev. Leah Ongiri is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist who has been a child, member, lay leader, staff member, and/or minister at UU congregations in Oregon, Washington, California, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Florida and, where she currently serves the UU Fellowship of Durango, Colorado. She received her undergraduate degree in political economy from Evergreen State College in Washington State and her Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Starr King School for the Ministry, a UU graduate theological school in California. She co-edited the Skinner House book Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism. Leah lives with her spouse Amy, their four children, and a tuxedo cat. She recently relocated to her Portland hometown after almost ten years of serving Fox Valley UU Fellowship in Appleton. She is delighted to return to Wisconsin virtually for this service.
Children’s RE Focus: Opening to joy at the end of the holiday season means celebrating being together, with family, with community. How do we do the work of being together? By curiosity, by gentleness, and the kindness towards each other.