United Methodist Church touring truck unwraps Christmas with hot cocoa and conversations

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- It's a bright red truck you can't miss, and it's carrying the meaning of Christmas. The United Methodist Church is touring through 22 cities in 16 states. They made a stop in Huntsville on Saturday.

The tires have traveled hundreds of miles to give people a cup of cocoa and some conversation.

"We're basically sharing the cheer of Christmas," explained Marcus Singleton, pastor at West Huntsville United Methodist Church. "We're going around talking to people, sharing hot cocoa as a gift, and having conversations around what is the meaning of Christmas."

In these days the focus tends to be on the commercial side of Christmas. That's why the truck's goal is to "Unwrap Christmas," which according to Pastor Singleton, means getting down to the true meaning of Christmas.

"For us it's a closeness. Coming close with family, coming close with friends, and just really getting to know each other and just having conversations and really being connected," he said.

A free cup of hot cocoa on a cold morning seems to be the perfect combination. Pastor Singleton said the response so far has been encouraging.

"People have been so open to receiving hot cocoa, but even more than that just to have a conversation. So that's one of the good things about this, is that it's a non-intimidating way to connect with people," he explained.

He said Christmas is a wonderful time to remember what we have in common. "Putting the religious part aside, it's important for us as communities and as people just to remember that we all are connected."

It's taken over 500 volunteers from local United Methodist churches to make this multi-state effort happen. The truck will be traveling to Nashville to end the tour.