Delivering Christmas Invitations and Cheer by the Truckload


National Christmas tour coming to Columbus on December 4

Columbus, Mississippi – Those meandering around Leadership Plaza 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 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 4, in historic downtown Columbus at Leadership Plaza, at the corner of College Street and 5th Street in historic downtown Columbus.  

Columbus is one of 11 stops for The United Methodist Church as it travels across the nation over 23 days to offer free hot cocoa and an invitation to join with others to unwrap the true meaning of Christmas. First United Methodist Church of Columbus will co-host the event locally and the entire community is invited.

“We are thrilled to have the True Meaning of Christmas Tour make a stop here in Columbus, Mississippi,” said Elizabeth Swartz, director of lay ministry and communication at Columbus First United Methodist Church. “At Columbus First, our theme for this Advent season is joy. What a wonderful opportunity to share the true joy of Christmas with our community!”

Embra Jackson, district superintendent of the Starkville District of the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church, is excited about the opportunities for connection offered by the True Meaning of Christmas Tour.
“This tour will give persons in the area an opportunity to experience the true joy and meaning of Christmas while also helping the community be reminded of the ‘reason for the season’ and to help a diverse population form relationships,” Jackson said.
The day’s activities include an interactive photo booth for capturing memories. A craft station will also be on site for decorating holiday cards that will later be distributed to students, faculty and other staff at Franklin Academy Elementary School, a strategic mission partner school for the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 is on the road November 25 through December 17. Follow the tour online at and #UnwrapChristmas.
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)
Jasmine Haynes, MMC, APR
Communications Specialist
Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church
601.354.0515 (office)
769.243.7043 (direct line)

320 Briarwood Drive
Jackson, MS 39206
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