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Archive | Home for the Holidays

New, unwrapped gifts needed for Tree of Hope

 

Donations requested by Dec. 11 to fill thrift store for neighbors in need in northern Kent County

 

Everybody should be able to spread holiday cheer, regardless of income. North Kent Connect (NKC) wants to make the process of gift giving and receiving more affordable and empowering than ever before.

Through its “Tree of Hope” program, NKC is calling on individuals, organizations and businesses in the area to drop off new and unwrapped items at its Northland Drive store in Rockford. Items such as pajamas, socks, underwear, sheets, blankets, towels, winter outerwear, and boots can then be purchased by NKC’s in-need clients at an extremely reduced cost. Parents will be able to shop for their children and maintain a sense of dignity while doing so.

 “We need many items, particularly basic necessities, to place in our Christmas Store so our families have variety and options,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director of North Kent Connect. “Please help us Give the Gift of Dignity this holiday season.” All items should be dropped off to NKC by Monday, December 11.

 The Tree of Hope concept is an extension of NKC’s unique “V.I.P.” model where qualified clients can volunteer (V) or invest (I) their time taking special classes to earn store credits in order to purchase (P) store items. Leftover items from the Christmas Store will be later sold to the public at regular prices, with proceeds benefiting NKC’s food and empowerment programs. (Toys will still be available at no cost through the “Toys for Tots” program to qualified NKC clients.)

 “Programs like Tree of Hope give people a truly unique opportunity to purchase needed items with pride,” said Guisfredi. “Our V.I.P. model has fast become a strongpoint for our clients, and continues to be a success not just for us, but for our entire community—throughout the holidays and all year long.”

 For more information, contact Cassie LaMacchia, NKC Community Engagement Coordinator, at cassie.lamacchia@nkconnect.org or 616-866-3478, ext. 355.

 

 

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Letters to Santa

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post has set up a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. 

Hurry, all letters must be in Santa’s Mail box by Monday, December 18th to reach him in time for Christmas.


I LOVE YOU SO MUCH

To SanTa

FRoM Lily Gunneson

DeAr:: SantA

These r the things I Wot FoR CisMS

I Wot A LOLs Dolls.

ANother Toy. 

I Wot SiA CoCo Doll!

ANd A DollS.

LoVE:: LiLY 

SanTA

I LO

VE Y

OU


 

To SanTa

FRoM TyannA Menefee

DeAr: Sata Cluss, 

I Whant a LOLs doll

I Whant plado.

brbIse

baby doll.

Can I hahv 

Nome Nome.

Crans.

Stamps.

farbooks.

toy food.

frame: Tyanna M.


Dear Santa, 

I would like 

a Paw Patrol toy. 

I love you

<3 Claire Bender (age4)


Dear Santa, 

Please send me a stroller this Christmas. 

Thank you!

Love, David 

Bender (age 1)


 

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Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Claus hugs two excited children at the 2016 Mingle with Kris Kringle. Photo courtesy CS Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Are you ready to have yourself a merry Christmas Cedar Springs-style? Come on out and experience a day of goodwill and cheer on Saturday, December 2, when the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce presents “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle.”

The day will run from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with various fun, family-friendly, events. The starts at 9 a.m. with families able to make and take Christmas ornaments for our downtown tree or decorate a mug at the Cedar Springs Library from 9-noon. You can also enjoy a story time with Mrs. Claus from 2-3 p.m. at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more. There will also be a meet and greet with Cedar Springs cheerleaders, a petting zoo, and carolers from Red Hawk Elementary, all before the mini-parade that brings Santa to the corner of Main and Ash Street at about 4:30-4:45.

Following the parade will be a live nativity scene and mingling with Kris Kringle at the American Legion Hall.

Bring the whole family out on Saturday, December 2, for a fun, community Christmas celebration! See the Chamber advertisement on page 9 of this week’s e-edition and our list of Holiday Happenings in the surrounding areas for complete details on times and locations.

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Letters to Santa Claus

Hey kids, it’s time to write a letter to Santa! Photo courtesy of S. Read.

It’s that time of year again, when kids can’t wait to mail their letters to Santa! To help parents out, the Cedar Springs Post will have a special North Pole drop box. Every year dozens of kids use our special box for express delivery to the North Pole, and we make sure Santa reads each and every one! So, if you’d like to send a letter to Santa, and maybe get it printed in the newspaper, just drop off your letter, in the bright red box labeled “Santa Mail” outside our office at 36 E. Maple Street. It’s a fun memory for you and your child and a great photo opportunity! Or, mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. If you do take a photo of your child mailing a letter, you can post it to our facebook page or email it to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Cost of energy to cook Thanksgiving meal

 

Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year? Consumers Energy says that the cost of the energy it takes to cook a traditional Thanksgiving feast is less than $2. That value includes the energy—either natural gas or electricity—for roasting the stuffed 18-pound turkey at the center of the table and for simmering or baking enough side dishes and dessert to serve 12 hungry guests.

Customers can increase their energy value even more by using a roasting bag to cut in half the time it takes to cook a turkey, combining several dishes when baking, and keeping the oven door closed. Other tips to trim holiday energy costs are at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome.

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Christmas Coloring Contest

Hey kids, 

It’s time for our annual Christmas Coloring Contest and your chance to win one of three $50 gift cards, one for each age group. 

Please click on picture above and print it out and then color it with crayons, markers or colored pencils. Our judges will choose the three winners – one from each age group: 4-5 years, 6-7 years; and 8-10 years.

Good luck and remember to be creative but follow the rules! Please no help from parents or older siblings/helpers.

Rules: 

1. Only one entry per child. 

2. Only one winner per family. 

3. We are not responsible for lost mail. 

4. All entries must be at our office by December 18. Use only crayons, markers or colored pencils.

Winners will be announced in the December 21st issue of The Cedar Springs Post. Don’t delay, get your entry in as soon as possible – deadline is Monday, December 18 by 5:00 p.m. but we’d like to display your entry on our windows throughout the month. Our office hours are 10am to 5pm Monday-Thursday, and 10am to 2pm on Fridays. We’re closed this Thursday & Friday for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Print and fill out entry form below and submit it along with your colored tree to: 

36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Or mail to: Christmas Coloring Contest

P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

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What not to buy on Black Friday

 

From blackfriday.com

You’re busy enough on Black Friday. Don’t waste your time on these items. 

What not to buy on Black Friday

1. That super-cheap doorbuster TV or laptop: TVs and laptops often occupy Page 1 of stores’ Black Friday ads, and they bring shoppers out in droves. This year is particularly exciting, as there are plenty of 4K TVs at low prices.

But be careful. Doorbuster TVs are often off-brand, or are pared-down versions of well-known models.

Use a reputable source (like PCMag’s reviews) to judge whether a brand and model have a good reputation. And search the model number of the doorbuster item to see if it’s offered year-round. If not, it could be a cheap doorbuster. 

2. Clothing: Black Friday ads are full of tempting prices on everything from workout clothing, to pajamas, to designer fashion. However, with your time limited on Black Friday, it›s not the time to browse and attempt to find something in your size.

The better time to shop for clothes is Cyber Monday, when clothing sites will offer sitewide discounts (instead of item-specific discounts like on Black Friday). 

3. Jewelry: Black Friday ads are filled with jewelry. But expect better sales around Valentine’s Day. If you are going to snap up jewelry on Black Friday, make sure it’s not an important piece (like an engagement ring. Rock-bottom Black Friday prices may tempt you into buying something of questionable quality.

4. Holiday decorations: If you can wait to buy your Christmas decor, ignore all the Black-Friday markdowns on trees, lights and lawn decorations. That stuff will fall to even lower prices the day after Christmas.

5. Appliances and mattresses: The appliance and mattress industries will mark down their wares during their famous three-day weekend sales (Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc.). They’ll even mark them down on New Year’s Day. So no need to waste your valuable time on Black Friday trying out mattresses or looking at refrigerators.

What you should buy on Black Friday

On Black Friday, keep a lookout for these items instead.

1. Smartphones: Newest-gen phones can easily be found on Black Friday for $0 plus gift cards. For example, Target is offering the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with $250 in Target gift cards. Walmart is throwing in $300 worth of gift cards.

2. Smart-home gadgets: Amazon and Google are locked in competition to get their voice-activated assistants into as many homes as possible. But it’s not just about the Echo vs. Google Home. Smart lights, doorbells and security systems will be on sale as well.

3. Smart wearables: Fitness bands and smartwatches will all be deeply discounted, and you’ll be able to get a deal on everything from basic models to the priciest ones. If you don’t need the latest model, consider getting previous-gen models. For example, deals on the Apple Watch Series 3 are scarce. But several retailers are discounting the Series 1. 

4. Computers and tablets: The entire spectrum of tablets and laptops will be on sale, from tablets you want to buy as stocking-stuffers, to high-end gaming laptops and PCs. Know what you want so you don’t have to spend a lot of time researching, and you can save hundreds of dollars.

5. Gaming system bundles: You won’t find many discounts on the newest systems (Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X). But you will find plenty of straight-up discounts on the PS4 and Xbox One S. Even better, look for bundles—the console plus controllers and games.

Reprinted by permission. 

BlackFriday.com is the authority on all things Black Friday, with live updates and premium content to help consumers get the most out of the biggest shopping holiday of the year. 

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Baby’s First Christmas

We want to give you the opportunity to celebrate your baby’s very first Christmas in a special way. The Cedar Springs POST will be featuring area newborns in “Baby’s First Christmas,” a special feature for babies celebrating their first Christmas. 

Photos will be run at no cost to our readers, but space is limited so get your photos in early. Deadline is Monday, December 18 by 5 p.m. and pictures with name and date of birth will appear in the December 21st issue. We cannot guarantee return of photos. Show the community your precious gift!

Photos may be dropped off at the Cedar Springs POST – 36 E. Maple St., or mailed to Baby’s First Christmas, P.O. Box 370,    Cedar Springs, MI 49319, or emailed to news@cedarspringspost.com. Please include baby’s name, and birth date, as well as a contact name and phone number.

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Tour of lights

 

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer! 

Every year The Cedar Springs POST hosts a Tour of Lights giving area residents the scoop on where the hot spots for Christmas lights are glowing. 

In order for us to make an accurate listing, one that includes YOUR house as a “drive-by” we need you to lead the way. 

Simply mail your name and address to Tour of Lights, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. You can also email them to news@cedarspringspost.com or call the office at 616-696-3655 to let us know. 

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Holiday happenings

 

Check out some of the fun, family activities going on in the area for the holiday season.

CEDAR SPRINGS

Dec. 2: The Cedar Springs area Chamber of Commerce presents Mingle with Kris Kringle from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Start the day off by making and taking crafts and ornaments at the Cedar Springs Community Library from 9 a.m. to noon. Decorate and fill a mug, or make an ornament for the downtown Christmas tree or one for your own tree. At 9 a.m. is story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place; meet and greet Red Hawk cheerleaders at 3 p.m. at the corner of Ash and Main Street where the downtown tree is; visit the Double K Farms Petting Zoo at 4 p.m. at Ash and Main; and at 4:15 p.m. the Red Hawk Choir will be caroling at Ash and Main. The Kris Kringle parade will start at 4:30 p.m. from the corner of Maple and Main and travel to Main and Ash, where Santa will light the tree at 4:45 p.m.; and there will be a live nativity there at 4:45 p.m. also. At 5 p.m. walk over to the American Legion Hall where you can get photos with Kris Kringle, and write a letter to Santa and do a coloring activity while waiting. You can also purchase baked goods from the ladies auxiliary.

Dec.2: Courtland Fire Department will be having Santa come to visit on December 2 from 1-4 p.m. We are located on 14 mile Rd just east of Myers Lake Rd. We will also be having punch and cookies.

Dec. 3: All abooooard the Bethlehem Express! A free event filled with crafts, carols, snacks, and the Christmas story. Great for young and old, families and singles! Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main, Cedar Springs, on Sunday, Dec. 3, 5-7 p.m., in the fellowship hall.

Dec. 9: Christmas open house at the Cedar Springs Community Library, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Come dressed in your pjs for a time of celebration with a visit from Santa, crafts, decorating, Christmas cookies, listening to a reading of the Polar Express, and craft bazaar.

Dec. 9: The 2017 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Saturday, December 9, from 3-5 p.m. Come out and have some holiday family fun! Admission tickets are $3 per person. This is a family friendly event that gives local talent the opportunity to perform live on stage and create holiday cheer. Line up to be announced.

GREENVILLE

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 1: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on Friday, December 1. The Santa park party will take place from 4-6 p.m. at Lafayette park (210 S. Lafayette). Enjoy holiday treats, games, activities & holiday merriment, then watch while Santa magically lights the Christmas Tree at 5:45 p.m. The parade will start at 6:00 p.m. on Lafayette Street. You won’t want to miss out on all the fun!

Dec. 2: 2017 Craft Fair and Flea Market, Saturday, December 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Greenville Area Recreation & Community Center, 900 E Kent Rd, Greenville. New and vintage items, handmade gifts, crafts and baked goods, all from local vendors and artisans. Free admission.

KENT CITY

Dec. 9: HCNC Wreath Making/Craft Make and Take. Make this year’s wreath with foraged cuttings, and personalize it with provided trimmings. While you enjoy your wreath making, let your children 5 & over do craft ornaments to make and take. This event is held at Howard Christensen Nature Center’s Camp Lilys, on 20 Mile Rd. Saturday, December 9 from 10 am to 1 pm. Wreaths $10 non-members, $5 members, Make and Take $5 non-members, $3 members. HCNC requests pre-registration online www.HowardChristensen.org, 616-675-3158. 

ROCKFORD

Dec. 1: Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the Rockford Dam overlook, 25 Squires St. Enjoy the sounds of the Rockford High School Jazz ensemble prior to the Rockford Choirs singing Christmas Carols. The Rockford Mayor will present a message of peace prior to thousands to lights coming to life in downtown Rockford and at the dam. This is a wonderful way for your family and you to start the holiday! Music starts at 5:30 p.m. and the Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Also Holiday Carriage Rides at the Rockford Pavilion (50 Squires St) from 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 2: Join us for Rockford’s 74th Annual Santa Parade! Parade starts at 11 a.m. in downtown Rockford. The jolly man in the red suit makes Rockford one of his first stops on his world tour. More than 60 floats line the downtown streets to welcome Santa Claus. He always arrives in style in a gorgeous white carriage. After the parade, he visits all good boys and girls in the Rockford Rotary Pavilion to hear their wish lists. The event features free photos, free milk and cookies, children’s activities, Christmas carols and each child receives a goodie bag after visiting with Santa. Free Carriage Rides from noon until 2:00 p.m. at the Rockford Rotary Pavilion, 50 Squires St.

Dec. 6: Santa in the Rotary pavilion, 50 Squires St. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa – all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies!

Dec. 7-8: Free horse-drawn carriage rides 5:30-8:30 p.m. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce sponsors horse-drawn carriage rides each year so that visitors to Rockford may enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. Visitors are able to ride through the tree-lined streets free of charge. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

Dec. 13: Santa at the pavilion with live reindeer, 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa—all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! On December 16 Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals. 50 Squires St.

Dec. 14-15: Free carriage rides 5:30-8:30 p.m. The Rockford Chamber of Commerce sponsors horse-drawn carriage rides each year so that visitors to Rockford may enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. Visitors are able to ride through the tree-lined streets free of charge. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

SAND LAKE

Nov. 26: Sand Lake tree lighting and caroling at 5:30 p.m. at the tree at Lake and 4th Street. Special music by Resurrection Lutheran Preschool. Hosted by all Village Churches and Sand Lake Chamber.

Dec. 1: Live indoor nativity at Sand Lake United Methodist from 6-8 p.m. Shepherds watching, angels singing, wise men searching, and the Christ child. Live animals will greet you. Enjoy the refreshments and stay as long as you like. 

Dec. 2: Sand Lake Family Christmas Celebration. Visit with Santa 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the VFW Hall. Visit the Christmas craft show at Resurrection Lutheran from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the Live indoor nativity at Sand Lake United Methodist from 1-3 p.m. Bring your ornaments to help decorate the trees. 

SPARTA

‘Tis the season! Check out these fun Sparta holiday events.

Nov. 23: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 23. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Race begins at 9 a.m. at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Homemade pies to first three males/females to cross finish line and first three kids under age 14. Cost is $20 plush two non-perishable foot items and/or gently used coats/hats/gloves to donate to local pantries. Also 50/50 raffle for prizes and jackpot. All proceeds to benefit Sparta Rugby club and Sparta Lions.

Nov. 27: 5th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, registration at 8:30 a.m., race at 9:30 a.m. Starts/finishes: Mamrelund Lutheran Church, 4085 Lutheran Church Rd., Kent City. Proceeds to Adopt a family and food pantry at Mamrelund. Register at michianatiming.com

Dec. 2: Christmas at the Sparta Library 10 a.m. to noon. Santa & Mrs. Claus visits, story time, crafts & cookie decorating, bring your own camera.

Dec. 2: Candy cane hunt for kids in Civic Center parking lot starts at 10:30 a.m. Donations welcome to keep Candy Cane Lane lighted! 

Dec. 12: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division.

Dec. 14: Pet night with Santa at the Santa House 6 to 8 p.m. 80 N. Union (behind the Sparta Library).

Dec. 16: Come visit Santa in the Santa House behind the Sparta Carnegie Township Library (80 N. Union) from 1-3 p.m. Free horse and trolley rides.

Dec. 19: Come visit Santa in the Santa House behind the Sparta Carnegie Township Library (80 N. Union) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 21-24: Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity,” from 7-8 p.m.

Dec. 23: Come visit Santa in the Santa House behind the Sparta Carnegie Township Library (80 N. Union) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free horse and trolley rides.

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