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Archive | Home for the Holidays

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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


‘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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Gifts that matter


Your donation to a nonprofit that gives foster kids holiday gifts can make a big difference in young lives.

(NAPS)—This holiday season, you can join forces with a nonprofit that helps thousands of kids in foster care open a gift with their name on the tag.

These children generally have very little in the way of luxury or even stuff they can call their own. And they rarely get presents.

One Woman’s Story

That was what Latasha Haynes’ life was like when the organization helped change her future forever by buying her a camera—her first.

“I didn’t get a lot of Christmas gifts,” said Haynes, now 35, “so that first camera was a huge deal.” Now a professional photographer, she travels the country with her husband, also a photographer, and their daughter.

The Organization

The nonprofit that helped Haynes, Treehouse, gives children meaningful holiday presents such as bikes and tablets every year through its Holiday Magic program.

In addition, its Little Wishes program provides financial support for extracurricular activities and other experiences essential to any child’s development. And the organization’s Graduation Success program has dramatically increased graduation rates for youth in foster care.

“This year we are proud to continue giving kids in foster care a childhood and a future,” said Janis Avery, CEO of Treehouse. “If you are looking for a way to share the spirit of giving, it’s easy to get involved.” 

What You Can Do

Visit www.treehouseforkids.org and click “Donate” to give directly. Or email drives@treehouseforkids.org to host your own donation drive. Nearly anyone can conduct a drive, from businesses to community groups and families.

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Postal Service ready to deliver holiday cheer

The Postal Service handles millions of packages each year during the holiday season.

The U.S. Postal Service will deliver more than 15 billion pieces of mail this holiday season. That includes 850 million packages, which is more than a 10 percent increase compared to the same period last year. 

“The Postal Service is well prepared to meet our customers’ needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” said Megan J. Brennan, Postmaster General and CEO. 

The Postal Service will be expanding its Sunday delivery operations to locations with high package volumes beginning Nov. 26. The Postal Service already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities, and anticipates delivering more than 6 million packages on Sundays this December. Mail carriers will also deliver packages on Christmas Day in select locations. 

 “America relies on the Postal Service and our 640,000 dedicated employees to deliver the holidays,” said Brennan. “We take great pride in our holiday readiness and preparation, and in our ability to offer reliable, predictable and affordable service in every community in America.” 

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days 

With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. Starting the week of Dec. 11, customer traffic is expected to increase, with the week of Dec. 18 – 24 predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week. During this week, nearly 3 billion pieces of First Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered. The Postal Service also expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. 

Skip the Trip and Ship Online 

While there may not be a busiest day for shipping this year, the Postal Service anticipates that Dec. 18 will be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 7 million customers predicted to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. Customers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting usps.com—the Postal Service’s website that helps make mailing and shipping easier than ever. Millions of customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup from the mail carrier. And usps.com is always open. 

The Postal Service offers a new feature this year to help you track and schedule package delivery. Our Informed Delivery tool not only allows you to see your incoming mail and packages, it also allows you to reschedule delivery of your packages to ensure you’re able to be home to receive them. 

2017 Holiday Shipping Deadlines 

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines: 

  • Nov. 6 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Retail Ground 
  • Dec. 11 – APO/FPO/DPO Priority Mail & First Class Mail 
  • Dec. 14 – USPS Retail Ground 
  • Dec. 15 – Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class 
  • Dec. 16 – APO/FPO/DPO USPS Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 16 – First Class Packages (up to 15.99 ounces) 
  • Dec. 19 – First Class Mail (including greeting cards) 
  • Dec. 20 – Priority Mail 
  • Dec. 20 – Hawaii to Mainland Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 20 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail & First Class 
  • Dec. 21 – Alaska to Mainland Priority Mail Express 
  • Dec. 22 – Priority Mail Express 

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews. 

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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