Story by Brenda Smotherman
United Methodist Communications
What makes for the perfect Christmas gift this season? According to statistics, it’s sharing experiences with family and friends. To fulfill that Christmas wish, The United Methodist Church is presenting The True Meaning of Christmas Tour.
Representatives will be traveling to 11 cities across the nation in a gift-wrapped truck offering family-friendly fun, while connecting visitors with a reminder of what Christmas is all about.
One of those cities is Salt Lake City, Utah. The tour will stop in this Mountain Sky Conference city on Dec. 14.
“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.”
Pew Research found that the things people least liked about Christmas were related to commercialism and materialism. They would rather spend their time with family and friends. Eventbrite revealed that millennials place a higher value on experiences over possessions. United Methodist Communications’ recent Barna Group survey, noted that people seeking a spiritual home spend the majority of their free time at restaurants and coffee houses with many engaging in volunteer activities.
Given these findings, The True Meaning of Christmas Tour fits the bill for what people are looking for in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
In each city, local United Methodist churches will join the truck team to host festivities that include free hot chocolate and an interactive photo booth for capturing memories. A craft station will also be on site for decorating greeting cards for those who might be in need of cheer, such as hospital patients and nursing home residents. Attendees are also invited to share prayer requests, engage in conversations about the reason behind the season and to join local congregations for Christmas services and events.
Follow the tour online at UnwrapChristmas.org 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.