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Give more for less this holiday season


PHOTO credit: (c) jovannig - Fotolia.com

PHOTO credit: (c) jovannig – Fotolia.com

(StatePoint) The holidays are a great time to shower friends and family with wonderful gifts. As you check off your holiday shopping list, remember that even small gifts can add up quickly to cost a bundle.

With these helpful tips from the discount experts at Dollar General, you may be able to give more for less this holiday season.

Holiday Thank Yous

Little gifts for the kids’ teachers, the neighborhood mail carrier, your favorite hairdresser and office co-workers can add up to some big expenses.

Gift cards are a special way to show your year-round appreciation and you don’t have to spend much to make an impact. Consider giving gift cards for a popular restaurant, retail store or coffee spot. Adorn the gift card with a unique ornament or decoration to add some extra holiday flair.

Stocking Stuffers

After the large items are purchased, don’t forget the stocking stuffers. With nearly limitless possibilities, consider fun items like lip gloss, hand cream and travel-sized toiletries for those on the go. For kids, think about small toys, mini coloring sets and yummy holiday treats including candy canes and chocolates. Add in little everyday items like gloves or a pair of patterned fuzzy socks.

The stocking is a fun part of the holiday tradition that doesn’t have to drain your budget. A discount retailer like Dollar General has a wide variety of stocking stuffer essentials at great prices for every member of the family, including the family pet. In fact, many items are priced at $1 or less.

Gifts from the Heart

Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the one you make. Fill a fun candy jar with holiday sweets like individually-wrapped mints and chocolates, and then finish it with a coordinating ribbon and gift tag. You can also give someone a stress-free supper with a homemade soup in a jar mix. Purchase canning jars and fill with soup ingredients like beans, pasta, spices and other delicious ingredients to make a tasty DIY gift. Decorate the jar with ribbon and use the gift tag to include cooking instructions on the back.

Finally, let the kids help by creating personalized holiday cards using colored paper, glitter and craft essentials for a unique, one-of-a-kind greeting. Use creativity and have fun with it!

Make this holiday memorable by giving meaningful gifts that won’t stress your budget.

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Give more for less this holiday season

Shopping Safely Online


From the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team 

Why do online shoppers have to take special precautions? 

The Internet offers convenience not available from other shopping outlets. From the comfort of your home, you can search for items from multiple vendors, compare prices with a few mouse clicks, and make purchases without waiting in line. However, the Internet is also convenient for attackers, giving them multiple ways to access the personal and financial information of unsuspecting shoppers. Attackers who are able to obtain this information may use it for their own financial gain, either by making purchases themselves or by selling the information to someone else.

Online shopping has become a popular way to purchase items without the hassles of traffic and crowds. However, the Internet has unique risks, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.

How do attackers target online shoppers? 

There are three common ways that attackers can take advantage of online shoppers:

Creating fraudulent sites and email messages – Unlike traditional shopping, where you know that a store is actually the store it claims to be, attackers can create malicious websites or email messages that appear to be legitimate. Attackers may also misrepresent themselves as charities, especially after natural disasters or during holiday seasons. Attackers create these malicious sites and email messages to try to convince you to supply personal and financial information.

Intercepting insecure transactions – If a vendor does not use encryption, an attacker may be able to intercept your information as it is transmitted.

Targeting vulnerable computers – If you do not take steps to protect your computer from viruses or other malicious code, an attacker may be able to gain access to your computer and all of the information on it. It is also important for vendors to protect their computers to prevent attackers from accessing customer databases.

How can you protect yourself? 

Do business with reputable vendors – Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. Some attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that appear to be legitimate, so you should verify the legitimacy before supplying any information. Attackers may obtain a site certificate for a malicious website to appear more authentic, so review the certificate information, particularly the “issued to” information. Locate and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is a problem with your transaction or your bill.

Make sure your information is being encrypted – Many sites use secure sockets layer (SSL) to encrypt information. Indications that your information will be encrypted include a URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted. The location of the icon varies by browser; for example, it may be to the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the window. Some attackers try to trick users by adding a fake padlock icon, so make sure that the icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.

Be wary of emails requesting information – Attackers may attempt to gather information by sending emails requesting that you confirm purchase or account information. (See Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks.) Legitimate businesses will not solicit this type of information through email. Do not provide sensitive information through email. If you receive an unsolicited email from a business, instead of clicking on the provided link, directly log on to the authentic website by typing the address yourself.

Use a credit card – There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but you may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards. Additionally, because a debit card draws money directly from your bank account, unauthorized charges could leave you with insufficient funds to pay other bills. You can minimize potential damage by using a single, low-limit credit card to making all of your online purchases. Also use a credit card when using a payment gateway such as PayPal, Google Wallet, or Apple Pay.

Check your shopping app settings – Look for apps that tell you what they do with your data and how they keep it secure. Keep in mind that there is no legal limit on your liability with money stored in a shopping app (or on a gift card). Unless otherwise stated under the terms of service, you are responsible for all charges made through your shopping app.

Check your statements – Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages, and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.

Check privacy policies – Before providing personal or financial information, check the website’s privacy policy. Make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.

For more information on this and other alerts and tips connected to cyber security, visit www.us-cert.gov, an official website of the Department of Homeland Security.

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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.


Hi Santa i want…

New rasr scotr elechrick

Legos candycane sweters

Kindle Fire

Air hogs scdolonde

Minecraft Lego


Sno glod

Marvle akshin figr

Thank you for dowing

this for me


Ben eden drier




Dear Santa

• I really really want

a xbox 360!!!  —–> game’s

  • minecraft story mode!!
  • call duty zombe’s!!!
  • Bat Man game!!!

• new zoomer


• Elf on the Shelf

clothes \ Jacket!!!

• minecraft toy

• canby cane’s

We got A new elf on the shelf her name is angle. We are taking care of angle & Josh. tell Josh we got him and new hat. Can you send Josh back erly!!!

love Joseph Drier.

love you Santa

Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Letters to Santa

Handmade for the Holidays


(Family Features) A holiday-ready home is filled with small touches that celebrate the season. Welcome guests with these easy DIY projects that lend an extra special feel to your home.

Extend a warm greeting with a faux fur wreath that dresses up the front door, such as this design from the crafting experts at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Then, put some empty Mason jars to use with a display perfect for an entryway table or ledge. Make it even prettier by nestling the jars among some evergreen branches and finish them off with a pretty bow or twine.

Find more ideas for DIY projects to spruce up your home this holiday season at joann.com.

Pompom Fur Wreath

Crafting time: Weekend project

Skill level: Some experience necessary

Supplies and Tools:

Pompom makers: 2 1/2-inch, 3 3/8-inch, 4 1/2-inch

Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn: Grey Heather, Taupe Grey, Natural (2 skeins each)


Hard foam tubular 12-inch wreath

Bernat Faux Fur Pompoms: Grey Lynx, White Rabbit (2 each)

Hot gun and glue sticks

T-pins or 2-inch pins with pearl heads

Decorative ribbon: 2 1/2-inch-by-12-foot, blue-grey

Follow directions on pompom maker packages to create three different sizes of poms of various colors using chunky yarn. If desired, mix yarn to give some pompoms a speckled look. Make about 50-60, depending on the fullness of the desired look.

After making pompoms, place pompoms around wreath, varying sizes and incorporating fur pompoms, as well. The overall look should be a kind of hilly terrain look to give it depth.

Once desired placement has been achieved, glue them in place with hot glue. If needed, secure poms with T-pins or pearlhead pins.

Using blue/grey decorative ribbon, create a bow with trailing ends and glue in place with hot glue.

HOL-Handmade-for-holidays2Rose Gold Holiday Mason Jars

Crafting time: 1-2 hours

Skill level: No experience necessary

Supplies and Tools:

Smooth Mason jars

Jelly jars

Rose gold spray paint

Provided templates: Deer head, tree, snowflake




Detail paintbrush

White enamel paint

Gold acrylic paint

Medium flat paintbrush

Scrap strips of fabric

Baker’s twine

Lightly spray inside or outside of smooth Mason jars and jelly jars with rose gold spray paint. Allow each coat to dry completely.

Locate templates at joann.com by searching for the project title; print templates and trim shapes. If the outside of the jar was spray painted, trace the shape with a pencil. If the inside of the jar was spray painted, trace the shape on the glass with a Sharpie.

Fill in each design using a detail brush and white enamel paint. Apply additional coats as necessary.

Paint jar rims gold.

Apply a thin layer or dry brush gold acrylic paint on jelly jars for added texture and dimension.

Embellish jars by making bows and knots with scrap strips of fabric or baker’s twine around rims of jars. Fill with sprigs of dried flowers or branches or other seasonal decorations, or for jars painted on the outside, fill with candies or treats for an edible gift.

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Holiday happenings


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


Christmas card class 

Nov. 28: Join the free Christmas Card Class at the Cedar Springs Library, Saturday, November 28. Kits to make three classy cards for those special people in your life.  Age-appropriate kits for children, as well.  Must be at least 6.  Sessions start at 10:15 and 11:30. Space is limited so reserve a place today!  By phone: 616-696-1910 or by email: ced@llcoop.org.

2015 Cedar Springs Christmas – Mingle with Kris Kringle 

Dec. 5: Celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with “Come Mingle with Kris Kringle,” presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Looking for something sweet? Pick up some awesome baked goods at the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Bake Sale at the Artisan Market Place 60 N. Main St.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Make two ornaments at the Cedar Springs Library, 43 W. Cherry Street—one to take home and one to take with you to decorate the Community Christmas tree at 3 p.m. (see below).

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ornament Making at the CS Historical Museum (for the first 100 kids) and a Victorian Christmas Display  (Cedar Street by Morley Park)

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Story time with Mrs. Claus at Perry’s Place llc for herbs, teas, and more.. (corner of Maple and Main Street)

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Decorating the Christmas Tree with the CS Cheerleaders at the corner of Main and Ash Street ( get your picture taken with the cheer leaders and tree)

3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Free Hot Chocolate at the corner of Ash and Main Street

4 p.m. Double K Farms& Animal Junction 4H Club Petting Zoo & Bake Sale at corner of Main and Ash Street.

4 p.m. Parade Line Up corner of Second and Maple Street

4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. candy canes handed out by Laura and Patrick Ensley

4:30 p.m. Christmas Parade starts at Maple and Main street**

4:45 p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling at the corner of Main and Ash Street

5 p.m. Live Nativity Scene (reenacted by Calvary Assembly of God) then Mingling with Kris Kringle (at the corner of Main and Ash Street)

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The CS Cheerleaders will hand out candy canes (at the corner of Main and Ash)

Main Street will be closing down (from Oak Street to Beech) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the mini Christmas Parade, Tree lighting, and Mingle with Kris Kringle portion of the event.

Edible Christmas Tree Decorating at the library

Dec. 12: Make an ordinary ice cream cone magically turn into a fabulous Christmas tree at the Cedar Springs Public Library! An assortment of candy and fun awaits you! RSVP for sessions starting at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. RSVP by calling 616-696-1910 or stop by and sign up at 43 W. Cherry Street during open hours.

2015 Kent Theatre Christmas Concert

Dec. 12: The 2015 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Concert hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 13th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun! 

2015 Kent Theatre Dance Extravaganza

Dec. 13: The 2014 Annual Kent Theatre Christmas Dance Extravaganza hosted by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (CSACOC) is scheduled for December 14th from 3pm to 5pm. Come out an have some holiday family fun!

Watch ad in next week’s paper for more information.


Celebrate Christmas on the green in Greenville.

Hometown Christmas parade and Santa party

Dec. 4: Come join the fun in downtown Greenville on December 4! The Santa park party will take place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. at Lafayette park. Get your picture taken with Santa, enjoy games and live music, 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!

Enjoy local events and shop local businesses Dec. 5

Dec. 5: Greenville Community Center, 900 E. Kent, will host a craft fair and indoor flea market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and a make and take craft party from 10 a.m. to noon.

Dec. 5: Greenville Senior Center, 715 S. Baldwin, will host a holiday marketplace from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will dolls, marionettes, quilts, crafts and baked goods.

Dec. 5: The Daily News, 109 N. Lafayette, will host an arts, crafts and gifts bazaar from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Dec. 5: Flat River Historical Museum, 213 N. Franklin, will host a holiday open house 2-4:30 p.m. Santa visits from 2-3 p.m.

Dec. 5: Town and Country animal clinic, 9191 Greenville Rd, will offer pet photos with Santa, starting at noon. Bring in your pet and get a photo with Santa free.

Dec. 5: Handel’s Messiah at the Greenville High School performing arts center at 7 p.m. Free admission. Nearly 100 talented area musicians in the orchestra and chorus will perform.

Dec. 5: Check out deals at Greenville businesses for December 5 by going to the Greenville Chamber of Commerce webpage at http://www.greenvillechamber.net.

Gingerbread house decorating

Dec. 12: The Greenville Area Community Center will host a gingerbread house decorating workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration Deadline: December 4, 2015. Make sweet memories, we’ll clean up the mess! Icing and assorted candies will be provided. 900 E. Kent Rd., Greenville. (616) 754-9163.


Holiday make and take

Dec. 12: You do not want your kids to miss this one! We will help your child create a gift from their heart that can be cherished and passed down to their children for generations. They will make unique gifts and wrap them up with the assistance of our volunteer team. Voila! Your children’s holiday shopping is done.

This event is most appropriate for K-5th graders. A cherished gift from your child’s heart, what could be better! 10 to 12:30 p.m. Donation $6.00 per child (includes supplies). 16190 Red Pine Dr NW, Kent City.

Winter Break Day Camp

Dec. 21-23 & 28-31: Send the Kids to day camp at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16190 Red Pine Drive, Kent City, during the Holiday Break. This program run the duration of the two week break (no camp on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day) Multiple curriculums will be covered from crafts to animal interactions and of course plenty of showshoeing and ice skating (weather permitting). We’ll make gifts and Christmas decorations, enjoy the roaring fireplace and have plenty of hot cocoa! $55 per child and 5 and over (all 7 days of the program). Bring a sack lunch (cocoa will be provided). Register online www.HowardChristensen.org or call the office 616-675-3158. All camps require 9 students minimum to be held.


Discover a Rockford Christmas

Take a step back in time and capture the magic of the holidays with these special events!

Holiday lighting ceremony

Dec. 4: Holiday lighting ceremony from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Rockford Dam overlook. Help us ring in the holiday season with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. 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 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Santa Parade

Dec. 5: Join us for Rockford’s 72nd Annual Santa Parade on December 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.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 horse-drawn carriage rides available after the parade from noon to 2 p.m.

Cookie walk

Dec. 5: St. Peter’s Ladies Guild Annual Cookie Walk is Saturday, December 5 at 310 E. Division in Rockford, from 9 a.m. until the cookies are gone. The cookies are sold by the pound and you pick the combination. This is a perfect time to pick up cookies for the holidays.  Proceeds help our Mission Projects throughout the year.

Santa at the Pavilion

Dec. 9: 6-8 p.m. Tired of battling the mall crowds? Why not bring your child to Rockford to visit Santa at the Rotary Pavilion, all in the idyllic setting of downtown. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies!

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 10-11: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.

Santa at the Pavilion with Live reindeer

Dec. 16: From 6-8 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion. Kids can give Santa their wish lists, and enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Santa will be bringing his LIVE reindeer for the kids to get a closer look at these amazing animals.

Holiday carriage rides

Dec. 17-18: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Take a free horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautifully decorated streets of the downtown area. It is a beautiful way to recapture the feelings of Christmases past and make memories with your loved ones.


Advent by Candlelight

Nov. 29: Advent by Candlelight, 6-8 p.m., for ladies of all ages, at Mary Queen of Apostles Parish Center in Sand Lake. The theme is Mary Christmas. Bring an hors d’oeuvre to pass. RSVP (616) 636-5671.

Live nativity

Dec. 4-5: Once again this year the Sand Lake United Methodist church fellowship hall will be transformed into the village of Bethlehem. The transformation is amazing as you are greeted by Roman soldiers registering you for the census (asking you to sign the guest book). You will make your way through the market place as you hear angels singing in the distance. Then you find a stable with a young couple inside with a newborn child as the angels sing their praises. Around the corner you will come to a garden where you will find a snack and a time to visit. On your way out, you may run into some wise men looking for the newborn king. And if you wish, you can pay your tribute (leave a free will donation). Come and experience the joy of the Christmas story with us! Friday December 4 from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 from 1-3 p.m. Everyone is welcome!


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

Nov. 26: Turkey Trot in Sparta, Thursday, Nov. 26, 9 a.m. Race begins at Sparta Civic Center, 75 N. Union. Registration forms at spartachamber.com. Proceeds to Sparta Rugby club.

Nov. 28: 3rd annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run, 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. Contact Cindy 616-799-0500 with questions.

Dec. 5: Horse-drawn trolley rides with Santa noon to 3 p.m. 112 E. Division.

Dec. 5: Festival of trees meet and greet noon to 3 p.m. Fenton Records 203 E. Division.

Dec. 5: Kid’s Day at Biggby Coffee 275 S. State. Come decorate a holiday picture to hang on our wall. Free kid’s drink with every picture (12 and under).

Dec. 8: Santa Workshop 6-8 pm at Maddie LaRoues, 126 E. Division. Hosted by Independent Bank. Free photos with Santa, activities, & more!

Dec. 10: Sparta High School holiday concert with concert band, jazz band, and choir. 6:45 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 12: Horse-drawn trolley rides 1-4 p.m.

Dec. 12: Santa in the Santa house 1-4 p.m.

Dec. 12: Santa fly in! 7-9 p.m. Sparta Airport 9000 Vinton Ave. Indoor activities, gifts for 12 and under. Refreshments of cocoa and cookies.

Dec. 13: Children’s Christmas program 10:10 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church. All children who come (ages preschool through elementary) are invited to dress up and participate. No rehearsal necessary.

Dec. 14: Gingerbread House Decorating Party, 6-8 p.m. at Sparta Township Library, 80 N. Union. For all ages! Houses & decorating items will be supplied. Pre-registration required.

Dec. 14: Biggby snow ball celebration 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Contests, giveaways iand other special events. 275 S. State.

Dec. 15: Sparta Middle School band holiday concert 6:45 p.m. Sparta High School auditorium.

Dec. 17: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8 p.m.

Dec. 19 Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 11-1.

Dec. 19: Free horse-drawn trolley rides 11-1.

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

Dec. 23: Visit Santa Claus in the Santa House, 6-8p.m.

Dec. 24: Children’s Christmas pageant at Holy Family Catholic Church 4 p.m.


Posted in Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Holiday happenings

Homemade gifts for a heartwarming holiday season


(Family Features)

Instead of fighting crowds at the store, head to the kitchen and whip up Pinterest-worthy treats and crafts. Whether you’re gifting a gracious host or just want a few extra presents on hand for unexpected holiday guests, flavorful and aromatic kitchen creations are a delicious way to show you care this holiday season.

“Christmas cookies are always a popular gift but they’re not the only homemade option for the cookie lovers on your list,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “A small jar of spreadable Gingerbread Cookie Butter brings the taste of a classic holiday treat to unexpected places like toast and pancakes.”

Need more gift-giving inspiration? Discover new ideas and recipes for everything from homemade seasonal butters to fragrance jars by visiting McCormick Spice on Pinterest and Facebook.

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Gingerbread Cookie Butter

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Servings: 24 (1 tablespoon each)

8 ounces gingerbread cookies, about 8 (3 1/2-inch long) cookies

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger

Pulse cookies in food processor until resembling fine crumbs. Add sugar; pulse until just blended.

Heat oil and water in small saucepan on low heat until coconut oil is melted. Slowly add oil mixture to processor while pulsing. Add vanilla and spices; pulse until just blended.

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Cinnamon and Pine Fragrance Jar

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Makes: 1 jar

2-3 pine branches (4 inches long)

2 McCormick Gourmet Cinnamon Sticks

1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Whole Jamaican All spice


Place pine, cinnamon and allspice inside 8-ounce jar. Pour water to fill jar, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.

To add a lovely fragrance around the house, pour all contents of jar into small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat 10-15 minutes or until fragrant, adding additional water as needed.

Posted in Featured, Hometown HolidaysComments Off on Homemade gifts for a heartwarming holiday season

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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Baby’s First Christmas

BFC-Atlas-santa-hat1We 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 21 by 5 p.m. and pictures with name and date of birth will appear in the December 24th 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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Letters to Santa Claus

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

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, or mail your letter to: Letters to Santa, c/o the Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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Postal Service Holiday Shipping Deadlines 


If you mail packages to friends and family for the holidays, you will want to take note of the 2015 holiday shipping deadlines released by the U.S. Postal Service.

Mail-by Dates (Domestic Services) 

• Dec. 15 – Standard Post
Ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages.

• Dec. 19 – First Class Mail
Service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces with delivery in 3 business days or less.

• Dec. 21 – Priority Mail
Domestic service in 1, 2, or 3 business days based on where your package starts and where it’s being sent, variety of Flat Rate options.

• Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express
Fastest domestic service, guaranteed overnight scheduled delivery to most locations.
Complete details on Mailing and Shipping services can be found on usps.com.

• Mail-by Dates (International Services)
Customers mailing internationally during the holidays are advised to review the chart below for specific deadlines based on the locations they are mailing to and the service they are using. When mailing and shipping internationally, customers must also follow necessary customs guidelines. Please visit the International Shipping page on usps.com for more information.


Mail-by Dates (Military) 

The Postal Service is committed to ensuring those serving in the nation’s armed forces and diplomatic service receive their presents, care packages and cards in time for the holidays. Complete military mailing deadlines to APO/FPO/DPO (Air/Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office and Diplomatic Post Office) destinations worldwide, as well as tips and guidelines can be found https://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-dpo.htm.

Shipping Supplies 

As an added convenience, the Postal Service offers a wide variety of shipping supplies in multiple sizes at local Post Offices and online at usps.com. Some supplies, such as Priority Mail products, can also be delivered to the sender free of charge.

Shipping supplies available online and at local Post Offices include:

• Priority Mail boxes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• Priority Mail non-padded envelopes: complimentary with Priority Mail shipping service.

• ReadyPost boxes: beginning at $4.29.

• ReadyPost bubble mailers: beginning at $1.79.

• ReadyPost clear packing tape: $3.29.
Customers may also ship using their own materials. As a reminder, all packages weighing more than 13 ounces and bearing only stamps as postage cannot be deposited in collection boxes or given to letter carriers. These packages must be presented to a Postal Service employee at a retail window counter.

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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