Monthly Archives

November 2018

Baltimore, Maryland

Christmas was not given to us to be a burden. The advent of Christ’s birth was initially proclaimed using words like joy and peace. That Christmas has become something that makes many of us tense up in the shoulders is a relatively modern development.

I thought about that first Christmas night quite a bit while we handed out cocoa and joy in Baltimore on November 29.  Continue Reading

Columbus Ohio

We’ve been conditioned to be skeptical of free. That’s conditioning is probably the biggest barrier we face in dong events on the True Meaning of Christmas Tour. Nobody really seems bothered by our Christmas imagery or music. They aren’t turned off by our blessings of “merry Christmas!” People are simply weirded out that we want to give them hot cocoa.

There has to be a catch, right? Continue Reading

Fairview Heights, IL

When does Christmastime start for you? We’ve all experienced that in the commercial world, the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. In the music universe, the Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving–when some radio stations switch to Christmas programming.

When does it start for you? When does the Christmas spirit become real for you? When do you allow yourself to get in the Christmas mood?

Continue Reading

What is Christmas really about?

What’s the true meaning of Christmas? The question has been asked in many ways for many years. We certainly understand that Christmas is about more than unwrapping presents, decorating trees, hanging lights, or eating large meals. We hear the voices of children expressing that Christmas is something more. We sense there is something deeper to this special holiday.

Christmas is about closeness. It’s a time when families, friends, and loved ones — even those we tend to hold at a distance much of the year — come close together to celebrate God coming close to humans in the form of Baby Jesus. It’s a time to connect with people in special ways, and to discover a feeling of belonging. We hope you’ll join us at a “True Meaning of Christmas” event near you as we celebrate the love and joy of togetherness this glorious season.

The United Methodist Church is hitting the road this December to provide a sense of closeness. Our True Meaning of Christmas Tour is coming to 21 cities across 16 states over the course of 23 days. At each stop, we’re offering the chance for people to come close together and unwrap the true meaning of Christmas.

We’re looking forward to sharing smiles and conversations with a lot of people. We hope to share a lot of cups of hot cocoa. And we plan on drawing people together by doing good for one another.

We’d love for you to be a part of it! As we come to a city near you, join us for some hot cocoa. We’ll also be accepting donations for local groups aiming to help others have a good Christmas.

The full tour schedule is below. Visit our map for specific location details. Help us #UnwrapChristmas!

  • Nov. 25: Fairview Heights, IL   We’ll be at St. Clair Square!
  • Nov. 26: Columbus, OH   At the pavilion at North Market
  • Nov. 28: Camp Hill, PA   At the Capital City Mall
  • Nov. 29: Baltimore, MD   On the promenade near the ice rink at Inner Harbor
  • Dec. 2: Roswell, GA  At Heart of Roswell Park
  • Dec. 4: Columbus, MS   At Leadership Plaza in downtown Columbus
  • Dec. 6: Bossier City, LA   At the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets
  • Dec. 10: Phoenix, AZ At Kierland Commons
  • Dec. 12: Los Angeles, CA At Pershing Square Holiday Ice Rink
  • Dec. 14: West Valley City, UT   At Rancho Market, 2470 S Redwood Rd
  • Dec. 17: Kansas City, MO   At Frank A. Theis Park across from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

In addition to tour stops where the truck will be on-hand, United Methodist congregations in additional locations across the U.S. will host hot cocoa fellowship events at their churches.