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Archive | Home for the Holidays

It’s time for the tour of lights

Some people go crazy at Christmas decorating their home. But you don’t have to go all out (like the photo above) to get listed on the Cedar Springs Post Annual Tour of Lights! If you’ve decorated your home or yard with beautiful lights or know someone that did, please send us the address and we’ll add it to our list of places to visit. Send the address to news@cedarspringspost.com with “Tour of lights” in the subject line, or mail to Tour of Lights, c/o The Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319. Or, you can call us at 696-3655. See what we have listed so far below. There is no charge to be added. 

 

 

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights this time of year to give you a good dose of Christmas cheer! So pack up the kids, go for a ride, and enjoy the decorations your friends and neighbors have put up this year. We’re sure you’ll find a few other treasures along the way!

1. 88 N. Grant Street (Corner of Maple and Grant).

2. 65 E. Muskegon, corner of First and Muskegon Streets. The home of Larry and Audrey Young is a classic home decorated with style.

3. Downtown Cedar Springs is aglow with lights on the trees and decorations on the lampposts. 

4. 427 Northland Drive, near the corner of South Street and Northland. See the 90-foot evergreen Christmas tree at the Reep family home.

5. 15581 Cedar Springs Avenue. Take Main St north to Cedar Springs Ave. 

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Stress-busting speed-cleaning tips for the holidays

(BPT) – It’s no secret the holiday season can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year. What is one of the biggest sources of stress? It’s cleaning on a deadline, especially while guests are on their way.

But with the right plan in place, even last-minute pre-entertainment cleaning can be efficient and stress-free, says Debra Johnson, Merry Maids home cleaning expert.

In an online survey conducted this spring by Toluna, more than half of respondents admitted that most of their cleaning takes place just before guests arrive. With a bit more focus, this preparation can be quick and effective, without stress. After all, the holidays shouldn’t be a race against the clock. They’re about spending time with loved ones.

Johnson shares the following tips to clean smarter, not harder, in the limited time you have before guests arrive.

1. Ready, set … declutter 

The important first step is to declutter rooms. Set a timer if needed to help you stay on track and avoid spending too much time in one room. Put things where they belong, or if they don’t have a home, put them in a room or under beds where no one will see. Once the holiday season passes, you can revisit and declutter those hidden storage areas. Prioritize rooms you use most, so if you run out of time, guests won’t notice an untidy area.

2. Only clean what guests will see 

Join the more than one-third of Americans who don’t bother cleaning rooms people won’t see. You have enough to stress about as the host. Don’t waste your precious time cleaning parts of the home no one will ever see. Simply shut doors to rooms that you want to keep private, signaling to guests not to enter. If you have family staying with you, give guest rooms a once-over, clean the bathrooms that will be used and, of course, the kitchen and living room.

3. Skip the sweep

Don’t spend time sweeping with a dry mop when you can vacuum instead. Vacuuming is far more efficient and faster at removing dust, dirt and other debris from the floors. Keep a portable hand-held vacuum nearby in case a big mess happens, such as a glass breaking during a party. Within seconds, the mess will be gone and you can go back to enjoying the festivities.

4. Speed-clean the bathrooms

All you need to clean your bathroom quickly is a damp microfiber cloth to give every surface a quick wipe-down and a toilet brush to clean the inside walls of the toilet. To freshen it up even more, pour a half-cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl and add white vinegar along with a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Allow the mixture to bubble for a bit and scrub with a toilet brush. Then, voila: your bathroom is clean, shiny and smelling great.

5. Tackle the microwave mess

You know people will want seconds well after the leftovers are put away, so use this quick tip to tackle microwave build-up: Combine lemon juice and water in a microwave-safe bowl and run it for about two minutes. The lemon water will loosen any gunk or food in the microwave for an easy wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Now guests can reheat their leftovers in a clean microwave.

“Hosting a holiday dinner requires prep work, but if you stay on track before anyone arrives, you can spend more time actually relaxing and enjoying their company,” said Johnson.

If you simply don’t have any time to spare this holiday season, Merry Maids has the resources and experts to help. Find a location in your area by visiting www.merrymaids.com.

With the cleaning under control, all that’s left for you to do is to light a few candles, conquer the grocery list and, of course, enjoy your special guests.

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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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