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National Christmas tour coming to Los Angeles on December 12

Los Angeles – Those meandering through Pershing Square with visions of sugarplums might also get a glimpse of the true meaning of Christmas – and it comes with free hot cocoa.

An easy-to-find gift-wrapped tour truck will be the centerpiece of The True Meaning of Christmas Tour festivities from 3 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, December 12, at the Pershing Square Holiday Ice Rink, 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles 90013.

Los Angeles is one stop for The United Methodist Church as it hits the road in 11 states over 23 days to offer free hot cocoa and an invitation to join with others to unwrap the true meaning of Christmas. La Plaza United Methodist Church and Los Angeles First United Methodist Church will co-host the event locally and the entire community is invited.

The Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa, Los Angeles Area District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church, notes the significance of this event for the city of Los Angeles: “The Methodist Church was the first Protestant church established in the city of Los Angeles, and we continue to make our presence known throughout the downtown core. We are excited to bring Christmas to the city!”

The day’s activities include an interactive photo booth for capturing memories. A craft station will also be on site for decorating greeting cards for residents living in homes built through A Bridge Home, a new initiative created by Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti to address homelessness issues throughout the city. Attendees also are invited to share prayer requests, engage in conversations about the reason behind the season and to join local congregations for Christmas services and events.

Research shows that commercialization, crowds and spending money are what people like least about Christmas, while spending time with family and friends and religious reflection/church are favorite activities.

“Christmas is a joyful time for many, but can bring about depression, stress and loneliness for others,” shares Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications, which created the tour in partnership with local churches. “We want to help people remember that celebrating Christmas is not about to-do lists and shopping. If you’re feeling stressed or alone, we want to invite you to connect with a local United Methodist church to experience fellowship and explore the true meaning of Christmas.”

The True Meaning of Christmas tour has been on the road since November 25 and will continue through December 17. Follow the tour online at and #UnwrapChristmas.

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.

To reach even more people with a message of hope this Christmas, The United Methodist Church will also be running complementary national advertisements created to inspire people throughout the holiday season.


About the United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church has more than 12.7 million members globally and is in mission in more than 12 countries. It is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with nearly 32,000 churches. The church’s mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Its tagline “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors” embraces who we are and how we seek to put our faith in action. Learn more at

For more information:

Crystal Caviness
United Methodist Communications
615.742-5138 (office)
615.306.3401 (cell)