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Archive | Seasonal

Simple precautions promote safe and fun holiday shopping

 

From the Michigan State Police

 

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post reminds holiday shoppers that following a few safety precautions can help this season remain fun for all.

“A primary factor in crime prevention is being aware of your surroundings and potential areas of danger,” stated Trooper Keith Disselkoen of the Lakeview Post. “By staying alert and following a few safety tips, most holiday crimes can be avoided.”

Mall shopping safety tips:

Avoid shopping alone. Use the buddy system whenever possible.

Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.  Always lock your vehicle and put away any valuables.

Have your keys in hand before exiting the shopping area and returning to your vehicle.

Do not keep packages in plain view in your vehicle; keep packages in the trunk of your car or covered by a blanket.

Be alert, pay attention to your surroundings and move with a purpose; don’t dally.

Carry your purse close to your body. If at all possible, do not bring a purse. Keep your wallet in a front or zipped pocket.

Do not carry large amounts of cash. Bring just one credit or debit card.

Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM machine.

Remain vigilant of your environment by paying close attention to where you are and knowing what you would do if something happened.

Remember where you are located within buildings and where the nearest emergency exit is.

If you see something suspicious, immediately notify law enforcement.

Online shopping safety tips:

Shop only on Internet sites of companies you know and trust.

Only use secure Web sites. To determine if a web site is secure, look for a key or closed padlock at the bottom browser window and a URL that begins with “https,” not just “http.”

Protect your personal information. Read the retailer’s Web site privacy policy and never provide your Social Security number, birth date or mother’s maiden name.

Ensure your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed before shopping online.

Beware of E-mails offering cut-rate prices on popular items; if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 

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Holiday Prep 101

Easy ways to get your family and home ready for the festivities

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

(Family Features) From hectic trips to the shopping mall to the costly expenses of gift giving, the holidays can bring about many frustrations. With a little bit of organization you’ll be ready to take on the holidays and enjoy the spirit of the season.

The many expectations of the holidays can make even the most laid-back people a bit stressed out. This year, face the festivities with a few tips to help you keep things in control, giving you extra time to sit back and enjoy this special time with family and friends.

Here are a few tips for a carefree, relaxed holiday:

Organize your spending budget

Holiday expenses can pile up fast, especially if you haven’t set a budget for gifts. Though it may be too late to set aside a monthly allotment for your big shopping bonanza, it’s important to sit down with your family to come up with a number that won’t set your finances back well into the new year.

Stock up on essentials

Avoid the hectic, last-minute rush by ensuring you have plenty of holiday essentials on hand. Some must-have items include holiday cards, stamps, gift wrapping supplies, and, perhaps the most important of items, batteries. Look for long lasting types, such as Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries, which are ideal for pairing with high drain devices like digital cameras, GPS devices and video game controllers. These high performing batteries are the world’s longest lasting AA and AAA batteries in high-tech devices and now hold power for up to 20 years when not in use. For more information, visit www.energizer.com.

Clear some space

With the many gifts you’re soon to receive, getting rid of old, unused clothing and household items is a great idea for clearing out clutter. Figure out what you haven’t used and donate it to charity or someone else who will put it to good use.

Check it twice

After you’ve made a list of all the family and friends you need to buy presents for, look over it again to ensure you haven’t missed anyone or any additional items. For instance, if purchasing popular gifts, like children’s toys and flashlights, be sure to also include a set of batteries, such as Energizer® Max® batteries. These batteries have a shelf life of 10 years. They hold power so you always have it when you need it most.

Compare before you buy

Check online for the best deals on high-end items, such as electronics and jewelry. Though this process may be a little time consuming, it can save you big bucks.

Whether you’re afraid of over-extending your finances or you just need a little direction for clearing the pre-holiday clutter, use this list to help keep your life in order during this busy season.

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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.

We’ll be listing all the addresses we receive so that our readers can enjoy the Christmas glow without the endless searching in between. Remember, after Thanksgiving, Christmas comes in a flash – so there’s not time to delay! Send us your address for Tour of Lights today!

tour-of-lights-entryform

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Christmas Coloring Contest

Hey kids,

Would you like to win an Easy Bake Oven or other great prizes? It’s time for our annual Christmas Coloring Contest and your chance to win!  Please color the picutre below with crayons, markers or colored pencils. There will be 1 winner from three age groups: 3-4 years; 5-7 years; and 8-10 years. Remember to be creative!

ChristmasColoringContest-snowman

 

ColoringContest-easybakeovenWinners will be announced in the December 19th issue of The Cedar Springs Post. So hurry, all entries have to be at The Post by Monday, December 16, 2012 by 5:00 p.m.

 

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 16 by 5pm.

5. Use only crayons, markers or colored pencils. 

 

ColoringContest-entryform

Please deliver entries to: 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Or mail to: Christmas Coloring Contest

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

 

 

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Hometown HolidaysComments Off

2013 Halloween Coloring Contest winners…

 

Winners can pick up their prizes on or after Friday, November 1, 2013 at The POST’s office located at 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Posted in Halloween funComments Off

No Tricks or Treats for Pets this Halloween

By Mona Shand, Michigan News Connection

HAL-No-tricks-or-treats-for-pets

Halloween is one of the most fun-filled nights for kids of all ages, but unless pet owners take precautions, the holiday could pose serious risks for four-legged friends. When trick-or-treaters bring home the Halloween loot, most people know to keep the chocolate away from pets, but, according to veterinarian Dr. Jamie Snow, keep the whole candy bowl out of reach of Rover and Fluffy, because the artificial sweetener xylitol found in most sugar-free gums and many other candies can be fatal to animals.

“I won’t let it in my house,” she declared. “If a dog eats that and ingests it in a good enough amount, it can cause severe liver failure and very profoundly low blood sugar and kill them.”

Snow said Halloween safety begins with securing pets inside the house or in a place where they won’t get overexcited by an onslaught of children, and to be sure all animals have proper identification. It’s all too easy for pets to escape amid all the Halloween commotion, but Snow says a few simple precautions will greatly increase the chance an animal will be reunited with its owner if that happens.

“Almost on a weekly basis, we have somebody that finds a dog or a cat with no collar, no microchip, and it’s very hard to find their homes if they have no identification,” she warned.

As for dressing pets up in Halloween costumes, Snow said to treat animals the same as toddlers: beware of choking or breathing hazards, and don’t leave them unsupervised while they’re suited up.

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Fresh Market-Jack o’ the Lantern

AWE-JackolanternBy Vicky Babcock

 

Most of us have heard the story of the wily rascal, Jack, and how he tricked the devil and thereby secured his own soul. Many versions of the tale exist, but all agree on the conclusion that Jack—having barred himself from hell and being unworthy of heaven—was made to wander the world, a lost soul.

One such tale suggests that Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Not wanting to pay for his drink, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he would use to buy the drinks. But Jack instead put the coin into his pocket next to a cross, which prevented the Devil from turning back. Jack agreed to release the Devil on the condition that the Devil never take his soul.  When Jack passed away, he found himself barred from heaven. The devil had provided him with a lit coal in which to light his way. Jack placed his coal into a carved out turnip and so the practice of Jack o’ lanterns began.

In truth, the practice began long before the story of Jack. Carved vegetables, usually turnips or beets, were used in celebrations around the world for centuries.  Wikipedia associates the term jack-o’-lantern with ignis fatuus (foolish fire) named for the phenomenon of strange flickering light over peat bogs.  You may have heard it called the will-o’-the-wisp. Gourds were the choice of the Maori, who used the carved fruit as lanterns over 700 years ago.  s gourds (the pumpkin is one) are the earliest produce known to be cultivated by man—dating back over 10,000 years—it is likely the practice of carving lanterns from them extends back thousands of years.  Irish immigrants have been credited with bringing the practice to the United States however, where they discovered the pumpkin made a much better media than the turnips they used in their home country.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain—the celebration of their new year, the day of the dead—which took place on November 1. The day marked the harvest, the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. The Celts believed that on the eve of their new year the bounderies between the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred and the dead could return to earth. The advent of Christianity changed and blended with the old rites. November 1 eventually became All Saints Day and November 2 All Souls’ Day to honor the dead. It is commonly believed that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic traditions with more sanctioned beliefs and the two holidays share many aspects, including bonfires, parades and dressing in costume. All Saints’ Day, or All-hallowmas—from Middle English for All Saint’s Day—has itself changed to include more of its pagan roots.  All Hallows Eve, or Halloween as we know it today, became the date of choice and the Jack-o-lanterns we all love, once used to frighten the dead and demons away from our doors, can be found on doorsteps everywhere. Trick or Treat, a mostly American tradition, probably resulted from the old practice of feeding the dead.

You’ve most likely carved your pumpkins for this year. Next year, consider saving the bits of carved out fruit (minus the peal) and throwing it into a pot of chili for a healthy and tasty addition. And the seeds—well we all know what pumpkin seeds are good for.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone—and Happy Haunting!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve never had pumpkin seeds, you’re in for a treat!  While these are great simply roasted and salted, you can make them your own by adding your own special blend of spices. If you’ve already carved your pumpkins, consider purchasing another. Roasted or baked pumpkin makes a great addition to soups and stews, breads, cookies and pies.

Basic ingredients:

Approximately 1 ½ c. pumpkin seeds

2 or 3 tsp. melted butter or olive oil

Salt

Optional choices (partial list):

A dash or two of soy sauce

Garlic powder

Seasoned salt (I like Morton’s)

Chili powder or cayenne pepper

Pre-heat oven to 300◦ Fahrenheit.  Rinse seeds thoroughly in a colander under running water, removing the majority of pulp and strings.  In a medium bowl, toss together seeds, oil or melted butter and seasons of your choice.  You can also make a sweetened version by substituting sugar and cinnamon.

Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally. Once these start to brown, they will do so quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them. Cooking times are approximate.

Fresh Market is brought to you by Solon Market located at 15185 Algoma Avenue.  For more information call 616-696-1718.  Like us on facebook for updates.

 

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Trick or treat in Cedar Springs

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

Are you ready to trick or treat in Cedar Springs?

It’s only one week until Halloween—are you ready for a night full of fun? Does the thought of greeting scores of trick or treaters make you break out in a cold sweat? Forget staying home! Pack up the kids and come out Halloween night for the Annual Cedar Springs Halloween Spooktacular in Cedar Springs! Sponsored by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, area businesses and churches, the fun starts at 4:30 p.m. with spooky storytime at the library, at the corner of Cherry and Second, and scavenger hunt by En Gedi that starts at City Hall. That is followed by trick or treating from 5 to 7 p.m. at Main Street businesses.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department will hand out hot chocolate and donuts at the firebarn at W. Maple and Second St. again this year, and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will host a haunted school house at the museum in Morley Park for the first time.

A youth center and two area churches will also be part of the festivities. The En Gedi youth center will host a “Ghost in the graveyard” at North Park (NE corner of Pine and Main); Calvary Assembly of God will host a carnival at North Park; and The Springs Church will host Trunk-or-Treat from 6pm-8pm, in their parking lot at the corner of Maple and First Street, along with a giant slide, and the Double K Farms petting zoo. They will also serve donuts, hot chocolate and coffee inside for trick or treaters and their families.

 

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Bootacular!

N-Bootacular1Ghouls and ghosts were in abundance last Saturday at Solon Market, as they kicked off their first annual Bootacular Event!  There were prizes and treat bags and a craft with lots of room to run! Favorite quote?  “I love this mask because I don’t have to smile for pictures!”

N-Bootacular2Solon Market is closed for the season.  Look for them in the Spring  and watch their facebook page for future up-dates.

 

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Whoooo is that?

N-Dear-Halloween-costumeJeremiah Dear, the son of James and Tracey Dear, of Solon Township, is looking forward to his first Halloween in Cedar Springs. He’s wearing a great looking owl costume. What a hoot!

 

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