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Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Christmas in Sand Lake


The Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce is pulling out all the stops this year for Christmas, as they get both families and businesses involved in the celebration.

They held their annual Christmas tree lighting last weekend, will have a live nativity this weekend, and next weekend kicks off their 12 days of Christmas in Sand Lake. The live nativity will be held at Sand Lake United Methodist, on Friday, December 6, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, December 7, from 1-3 p.m.

The 12 days of Christmas kicks off Friday December 13 with all kinds of business activities and specials, a window decorating contest, scavenger hunt and more. Santa will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library on Saturday, December 14, from 10 to noon. There will also be many other family-friendly activities, such as caroling, a model train display, sled races, and more.

Businesses will be running great specials every day during the 12 days of Christmas. Take a look at all the specials they are running and all the great activities in their ad by clicking on the link below.

Sand Lake ChamberCHRISTMAS6x16fc4913.pdf

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The Rev. David Meyers

Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

1200 Post Dr., Belmont, MI  49306


I was in the doctor’s office the other day and the appointments were backed up. The wait was much longer than usual. After perusing the scattered magazines, I made a mental shift. Instead of succumbing to growing irritation, I decided to make the most of the time of waiting. Mentally, I made a list of the jobs I had to do. Then I checked off the things that needed to be done to get my house in order. I did some financial accounting and then I checked my prayer list. I remembered all the friends, family members, social issues, and church concerns I had committed to pray for. It seemed as if the time passed at a rapid pace and then my number was called. The wait was over.

Dear friends, we are now in the first week of Advent—the season of emergence, of coming forth, of appearing.  We have four weeks to wait for Christmas. In our church, we stubbornly oppose the cultural norm of rushing Christmas. The deep blue colors and reflective mood are anticipatory, but restrained. There will be no decorations until just before the 25th. The words of Isaiah, Jesus, and John the Baptist help flesh out the time.  They guide us through the wait.

Time with God can be bent in so many ways. Even as we await the celebration of the coming of Messiah in the form of a child, we anticipate the coming of Christ in great power and glory.  Both happen at the same time. Both are comprehensive, both are cosmic. The nature of the wait depends on the understanding of the event.

As people grow older, they begin to understand that the appearing of Christ may be individual instead of a worldwide event.  The wait is a useful time to get the house in order, to make sure that jobs are finished, and accounts balance. The act of simplifying helps the wait go smoothly.

Of course, as children, we did not understand the deeper meaning of the season. Waiting was so hard! Little people, literally abuzz with excited energy, know that a great celebration is approaching. They can barely eat while they tick off the days. For them, the wait is torture.

For younger adults, the wait is more trying. Demands of time and purse result in the feeling that the wait is actually too short!  How can it all be accomplished? Or rather, why must is all be accomplished? So much is pressing that the wait does not lead to peaceful understanding. It is time that demands to be filled.

Wherever you find yourself, remember that the wait has a purpose. It teaches us that we are not in charge of time. The Messiah comes when he chooses. No amount of stress can make the days go faster. Preparation, however, can make the days more meaningful. Take some time in these next weeks to be quiet. Sit back and close your eyes. In the midst of the immediate hubbub, take a personal inventory. Is your spiritual house in order? Are accounts balanced? Are the necessary jobs completed? Are you ready to welcome the Christ Child, the Messiah as your guest?

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Holiday Happenings 2013



Red Flannel Christmas – Come Mingle with Kris Kringle

Dec. 7: Come celebrate the kick off to the Christmas season with a Red Flannel Town Christmas, presented by the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.  Creative Technologies Academy will have an arts and crafts fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; local businesses will be open and running specials beginning at 10 a.m.; and the Cedar Springs Historical Museum will do Christmas crafts from noon to 3 p.m. New this year is the Red Flannel Town Christmas Parade, with registration at 4:30 p.m., and parade at 5 p.m. Following the parade will be a live nativity scene, tree lighting, caroling, and mingling with Kris Kringle at the corner of Main Street and Ash. Bring the whole family out for a fun, old-fashioned, red flannel town Christmas celebration.

Second annual Christmas concert at the Kent

Dec. 14: The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Christmas Concert at the Kent Theatre on Saturday, December 14, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Cedar View Choir will perform this year, along with some performers from last year and more. Bring the family and have some fun. Admission is $5, and free for kids under age 5.

Make a gingerbread house

Dec. 14: Calling all Kids to decorate a Gingerbread House at the Cedar Springs Public Library. Sign up for one of three sessions: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or 12 p.m. All ages welcome, preschoolers must have parent present. Stop by the library to register or call 616-696-1910.

Christmas Dance Extravaganza at the Kent

Dec. 15: The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Christmas Dance Extravaganza at the Kent on Sunday, December 15, from 3 to 5 p.m. They have a variety of dance styles lined up to perform. Bring out the family and have some fun. Tickets are $10, and free for those under age 5.


Hometown Christmas

Dec. 6: Come and celebrate “A Hometown Christmas” in beautiful Historic, downtown Greenville. It’s so much more than just a parade. Events start with a Santa park party from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Lafayette Park (next to the bakery). Santa will visit with children, and pose for photos with kids; there will be face painting, live Christmas music, hot cocoa and cookies, and plenty of holiday merriment. The tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:45 p.m. at Lafayette Park. Santa will do the honors and light the tree. The parade follows at 6 p.m., and then kids can visit with Santa at the Flat River Museum immediately following the parade until 8 p.m.

Heritage Holiday Village

Dec. 8: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Montcalm Community College. Free. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday in the village, including caroling, crafts, photos with an 0ld-fashioned St. Nicholas, and more. 2800 College Drive, Sidney, Michigan 48885.

Tree of Lights Celebration

Dec. 8, 17: On Sunday, December 8, the Spectrum Health Foundation United & Kelsey Hospitals will hold its annual Tree of Lights celebration at 4 p.m. at United Hospital in Greenville. On Tuesday, December 17 at 6:30 p.m. the Tree of Love celebration will be held at United Church of Christ, 115 W Fifth Street in Lakeview. Funds raised from this year’s Tree of Lights and Tree of Love will help purchase a video laryngoscope for both United and Kelsey Hospitals. A laryngoscope is a lifesaving medical device used to place breathing tubes in a patient who is unable to breathe on his or her own. Enjoy the musical sounds of the season, delicious refreshments and listen as the names of those who are read.


Polar Express Party

Dec. 11: All aboard! Hop on the Polar Express and enjoy a magical storytime train ride at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library at 6:30 p.m. Play games, make a reindeer ornament, enjoy an edible train and more at this cozy holiday party. For all ages. The library is located at 88 Eighth Street.

Christmas with Santa

Dec. 14: Santa will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library from 10 a.m. to Noon a.m. on Saturday, December 8. Visit with Santa and enjoy crafts and treats. Gifts aplenty for the first 200 children! Prize drawings will be held. For all ages.


Pet night with Santa 

Dec. 12: 6-8 pm in Santa House, 94 N. Union. Bring your furry friends to visit with Santa! Photo with $3.00 donation or pet food or blanket donation to go to the Humane Society.

Santa Train visits Sparta

Dec. 14: The Santa Train will visit Sparta at approximately 10 a.m. (visit www.spartachamber.com for exact time.) Follow Santa in the kid’s parade to the Santa House and visit Santa until 1 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 280 will serve hot cocoa, and the Coffee Stop will give out free samples of gourmet coffee. Find Bruce the chestnut grower and try a free roasted chestnut. There will also be free horse and trolley rides until 2 p.m.

Santa in Santa house

Dec. 19 and 21: Santa will be in the Santa house (94 N. Union) on Thursday, Dec. 19 from 6-8 p.m., and on Saturday, December 21, from 11 to1 p.m. Bring your own camera.

Living Nativity

Dec. 21-Dec. 24: The Ballard Church of Christ, 1633 10 Mile Road, presents “The Living Nativity” from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 21-24.

Horse drawn trolley rides

Dec. 24: Horse drawn trolley rides from 6-9 p.m. Loading area and treats at Sparta Fire Department.


Gingerbread Lane

December 5: Stroll down Gingerbread Lane at the Spencer Township Library and enjoy tasty gingerbread stories from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required and participant spots are limited. For all ages. Arts and crafts.


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Thank You

Thanks to the good Lord, all of us (including the dog) got out of the house unharmed from our house fire on Christmas Day. We would like to say Thanks to our family, friends, neighbors and most important the “Dog.” Your offers of help, your cards of encouragement, your acts of kindness, the good advice we were given when our minds were numb, the gifts of money, warm clothes & hot coffee. Cell phones were used and given, instruction to make and take calls, small note pads for notes and numbers. Warm houses to go to, your vehicles to drive and your help removing things that were left. For all these things we are very thankful, and we are very blessed for the wonderful support from all of you. And to all the firefighters, you went above the beyond to fight this fire and help save what we could. We Thank You.

Thanks for caring and sharing,

Don & JoAnn VandenBerg

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Christmas day fire leaves family homeless

This Sand Lake area home caught fire Christmas day.

An Ensley Township family is now staying with relatives after their home caught fire Christmas Day.
According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the fire broke out about 3:30 p.m., Sunday, December 25. He said the family was playing cards at their home, located at 12905 S. Elm Street, in Ensley Township, when the dog started barking. When someone went to see why the dog was barking, the person discovered the fire in the breezeway, which was between the garage and the house. All five people at home at the time got out safely.
“It may have been caused by Christmas lights in the breezeway,” said Holtzlander, “but we won’t know for sure until the fire investigator comes out to look at it this week.”
Both Cedar Springs and Grant Fire Departments assisted Sand Lake at the scene. Holtzlander said they had the fire knocked down within about a half hour and cleared the scene a little after 6 p.m.
Holtzlander said that home would likely be a total loss, but that probably 95 percent of the family’s belongings were salvageable. “We had enough help on scene that we were able to move their belongings to the west side of the house,” he explained.
While the whole house didn’t burn down, the kitchen area by the breezeway was damaged, the fire got into the attic, and the trusses were charred. The house also had smoke damage.
The house, which belongs to Don Vandenberg, is reportedly insured.

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Chinook pilot and crew heads to Afghanistan

CW3 Timothy Alan Miller’s family celebrated an early Christmas last week before his deployment to Afghanistan.
Miller was the Chinook helicopter pilot that flew in to Sjinner Field to celebrate Veteran’s Day here in Cedar Springs. He can be seen in the photo below frolicking with his sons, while wearing the Red Flannels his family received as a gift. The second photo shows him and his son before his departure.
Miller’s unit’s six Chinook helicopters left early last week for Texas to receive training before heading to Afghanistan.
Thanks to Wayne and June Price for passing along the photos.

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Operation Christmas

Cedar View teacher Mrs. Poll’s son, First Sergeant Mike Poll, is serving in the 236th transportation unit in Afghanistan.  He helps lead over 160 troops.  Many of these soldiers will not be home for Christmas.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes decided to help these soldiers during the holidays and send some holiday cheer. They called this project Operation Christmas. First Sergeant Mike Poll mentioned the soldiers would appreciate goodies of any kind.
Ten boxes of cookies, gum, crackers, jerky, stickers, and other goodies were sent to these soldiers. The ten boxes totaled over 90 pounds.
Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Poll’s classes also incorporated writing skills as each class wrote letters and Christmas cards to the soldiers.

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Christmas Coloring Contest winners

Congratulations to our winners of the 2011 Christmas Coloring Contest! Your prizes will be  available for pick up on Monday, December 26th at the Cedar Springs Post newspaper office, 36 E. Maple St., Cedar Springs.

Age Group: 3-4 years
Dominic Vanderhyde
age 4
of Cedar Springs

Age group:
5-7 years
Selena Carter
age 7
of Howard City




Age group:
8-10 years
Adriana Johnson
age 10
of Cedar Springs

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Baby’s 1st Christmas

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Winter weather can strain your heart

American Heart Association offers lifesaving tips to get through the season

As many of us hope for a white Christmas, keep in mind the snow and cold winter months can be very hard on people with potential heart problems and people with existing heart problems. Some studies even suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion. Therefore, the American Heart Association is sharing some safe winter weather tips for your heart.
This winter, while you’re outdoors in the cold weather, be aware that your heart is working harder. If you’re not accustomed to physical activity, you should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person’s heart.
To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association suggests:
*Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
*Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
*Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
*Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
*Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
*Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
*Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.
Wind Chill
Besides cold temperatures and snow, we know we’ll have high winds to cope with also.  Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body.  At 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 30-mile wind, the cooling effect is equal to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand.  Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
*Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
*Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
*Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
*Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away.
For more information, visit your physician or call the American Heart Association at 800-AHA-USA1 or visit online at www.heart.org.

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