Saving Christmas

A good-hearted family steps in to save the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck, a holiday ritual in North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and Burbank. For the area, the family was ‘pretty much saving Christmas.’

A quirky tradition that blasted Christmas cheer through North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and Burbank was almost stopped in its tracks this year.

But a Toluca Lake family has stepped in, with the hopes of keeping alive a local holiday ritual that has brought Christmas to their southeast San Fernando Valley neighborhoods via an 18-wheeler truck filled with carolers.

Angie, a Toluca Lake resident who asked that her family’s name not be publicized in the newspapers, said the church organization that had operated The Magical Christmas Caroling Truck decided to discontinue the tradition after 34 years.

Angie was there for 18 of those years and did not want to see the annual tradition go away, especially since her young daughters have grown up with it.

So Angie and her family decided to take over the event until a nonprofit has been set up for it. Her family acquired the truck from the church group three weeks ago, and have renamed the event the Magical Holiday Parade.

“Some people think we’re crazy,” Angie said. “I kind of love the fact we’re doing it.”

Angie acknowledged the effort “was a big undertaking, but we kind of felt like we should do it. It means a lot to our community.”

To help with the effort, a GoFundMe page was also set up to raise money to put on the event. Part of the costs include repairing the three-decade-old truck, Angie said.

But the three weeks has afforded very little time to get the truck ready, and for rounding up volunteers and getting them into caroling shape.

Angie said Friday they were especially in need of carolers who could take the 7:30 p.m.-to-10:30 p.m. shift. Volunteers can still fill out a form on the event website, she said.

Meanwhile, the route of the event has been unveiled and could be found here. The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. and end at 10:30 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 24.

The website set up for the new event included a rallying cry that appeared to capture the spirit of the effort Saving Christmas, which was to #SaveChristmas.

And some agree that is what Angie and her family are doing. In addition to prepping the truck and bringing in volunteers, they are also going through the process of setting up a nonprofit, in a very short amount of time, according to Jason Friedman, vice president of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council.

“They are pretty much saving Christmas,” he said.


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