web analytics

Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Less is More this Christmas!


After laying down my last women’s magazine telling me how to be less stressed during the holidays, I’m even more confused and stressed then ever. On one page I’m told to take time for myself and indulge in a lovely spa bath. As I turn the page, I’m told to give all my friends and family homemade ornaments. Then there are articles telling me how not to gain weight at Christmas parties. Isn’t that like telling a three year old to not get dirty while making mud pies?
To top it all off (and the part I like the best) is after they tell us how to get rid of stress and not gain weight, they give us 10 pages of recipes for Christmas cookies made with real butter and cream that are decorated so elaborately in the pictures that it probably took a trained kitchen staff of 10 a week to make one cookie. Doesn’t anyone live in the real world any more? If you are like me and can’t stand that kind of stress, try some of these Christmas ideas from www.LivingOnADime.com to help you have a relaxed and Merry Christmas.
Don’t over-spend. It may be tempting to fixate yourself on the sparkling look in little Johnny’s eye when he sees that $300 play car under the tree. Advertising people are really good at feeding many parents’ fantasies of their children thinking that mom and dad are the peaches and cream for shelling out the cash and looking fondly back on the moment for the rest of their lives. In reality, most kids have lost all interest in that particular toy long before the credit cards are paid off. “When we were growing up, my mom pulled out all of the stops at Christmas to make it as wonderful for us as she possibly could. The funny thing is that now that we are grown, the things we remember the most fondly are Mom’s red jello salad (made with red hots yummy!) and sitting together and reading the Christmas story before opening our presents. I can’t remember what presents I received, but I always look back fondly on the Christmas story.
Do a few things well. Instead of trying to do everything and ending up depressed with how it all turns out, focus your energy on a couple of things that are the most important to you. You may be tempted to extravagantly decorate every room in your house, but if you don’t have the time or energy, focus on one room, like a living or family room. If your entire house is beautiful but you have to go see a therapist when it’s all over, the romantic mystique will be lost. Trust me, I know about this one from personal experience.
Limit activities. Think of the holiday season as triage for activities. Don’t commit to do too many things. One or two parties during the holiday season will make you get all tingly in that “It’s a Wonderful Life” kind of way. One or two parties a week may send you over the edge, especially if you have kids. (Refer to my therapist comments above.) This also applies to all of those appealing looking activities around town like Victorian Christmas events, Christmas celebrations at the zoo or winter carnivals. One or two can be a lot of fun, but too many will ruin the fun.
Limit cookie baking. Don’t try to make 15 different kinds of cookies like Martha. She may look like she is super woman, but did you know she has a lot of people that help her? How much help do you get with your baking? I mean real help, not your five year old who makes everything twice as difficult for you. This is great for grandma, but you have to see your daughter every day and grandma can send her back when the house is sufficiently covered in flour. Again, pick your two or three top favorite cookies to bake and celebrate the fact that you had few enough priorities that you remembered to put the sugar in them.
Everything doesn’t have to be homemade. I know that we advocate making your own stuff, but Marie Callendar’s makes some great pies that you can pass off as homemade if you want to soothe your guilty Martha Stewart conscience. In 20 years, your kids will look fondly back on it as the best pie they ever had. But seriously, if you are making things homemade just to save money, remember that some things like candies and pies are often more expensive to make homemade, especially if you cut your finger while slicing the apples. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me on this one.
These aren’t the only things you can do to reduce your stress, but if you stick to doing a few things well, you can truly relax and enjoy the season with your family. In the end, they would rather have fond memories of their time with you than memories of how strung out mom was after she burned the cookies.
Tawra Kellam is the publisher of the website www.LivingOnADime.com and the author of Dining On A Dime Cookbook.

Posted in NewsComments Off

Roger on Main St.


Roger on Main Street

Forever War

Have you noticed that our wars just seem to go on and on? So have I, so I looked it up.
Since 1675, we have been in 26 wars. Several early ones were against Indians while we were still colonies. Then came the Revolutionary War against the British. Then, more war against the Barbary Pirates. We had the War of 1812, Texas’s fight for independence from Mexico, and the Civil War. We returned to battle in the Spanish American War. (My great uncle fought in that one.)
In 1918 we entered World War I and fought Germany. That was a particularly nasty one, but we were on the winning team.
In World War II we went up against the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. Dec. 7, 1941: the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I’m old enough to remember the day. It was a Sunday, I recall, and our family was stunned with the news. The whole country was stunned. It took about four years but, again, our team won.
Korea split into North and South, and America went to war to support the South. Fresh out of high school, I was there. With the U.S. Army. We still have troops there.
We lost in Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. We managed to win in Granada and Panama. Then – remember Bosnia?
Afghanistan and Iraq are still in progress.
Will it ever end? There must be a better solution to conflict than blowing up cities, resources, and human beings.

The good season

In the really old days, what we call Christmas was a celebration of the winter solstice (the sun is coming back, the sun is coming back!). The birth of Christ gave us a focus for renewal; the time of year was retained.
Eventually, of course, Santa came down the chimney and Hallmark took over. There’s something for everyone in this joyous celebration of the good things of life. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone. And peace on earth.

Gas

Sister Mary Ann, who served at a home health agency, was out making rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. Fortunately, a station was just a block away. She walked down the road to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.
The only gas can the station owned had been loaned out. The attendant said she could wait until it was returned, but Sister was headed to a patient’s house. She decided not to wait.
Back at the car, she looked for some kind of container and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried it back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptist ladies watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, “If it starts, I’m turning Catholic.”

More on War

A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

Posted in Roger on Main St.Comments Off

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. Below is just a sampling of the many beautiful displays in our area. 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!
A.    427 Northland Drive, near the corner of South Street and Northland. See the 90-foot evergreen Christmas tree at the Reep family home.
B.    65 E. Muskegon, corner of First and Muskegon Streets. The home of Larry and Audrey Young is a classic home decorated with style.
C.    Downtown Cedar Springs is aglow with lights and decorations on the lampposts, and the Christmas tree and a nativity scene is on the corner of Main and Ash.
D.    Several businesses on S. Main in Cedar Springs.
E.    Homes on S. Seventh Street, south off 17 Mile.
F.    Many homes in the Prairie Run subdivision, north off Pine Street.
G.    2075 18 Mile Road NE, between Algoma and Hannah. Home of Mike Meyers.
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 name of the homeowner (if known), and 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.

Posted in NewsComments Off

Celebrate the joy of Christmas at one of the churches in our community:


Dec. 19: Solon Center Wesleyan Church will have a Christmas Celebration Service on Sunday, December 19, at 11 a.m. They also invite you to come “Celebrate the Light” at their Candlelight Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 6 p.m. The church is located at 15671 Algoma Ave., just north of 19 Mile Rd.

Dec. 19: Pilgrim Bible Church will have their annual Children’s Christmas Program at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday December 19, and will have a candlelight Christmas singspiration at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, December 26, to close out the Christmas season. The church is located on West Pine Street, in Cedar Springs.

Dec. 19: South Ensley United Methodist will hold a Christmas evening service of worship and special music on Sunday, December 19 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. The church is located at 13600 S. Cypress, Sand Lake.

Dec. 19: North Kent Community Church will present “A Savior is born” on Sunday, December 19 at 10 a.m. The church is located at 1480 Indian Lakes Rd, Sparta.

Dec. 24: Calvary Assembly of God (810 17 Mile Road) is offering our annual Candlelight Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. Enjoy hot chocolate, Christmas carols, and a special Christmas story.

Dec. 24: Join us at The Springs Church for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on Friday, December 24, at 7 p.m. Feel free to come as you are. Kids are invited to wear pajamas. There will be glo-sticks for the kids. We are located on the corner of Oak & First Streets in Cedar Springs. For more information visit our website www.thespringschurch.info or call 616.696.2970. We hope to see you at The Springs this Christmas!

Dec. 24: Come and celebrate the birth of Jesus with us at Cedar Springs UMC, 140 S. Main St. in downtown Cedar Springs! Christmas Eve Candlelight worship services at both 7 & 10 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Special Children’s Time and childcare provided; and at 10:00 p.m. Special brass ensemble will play. The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated at both services, and a special mission offering will be taken to support children in our area through the Beach Picnic Basket program and also around the world. God bless you as we give thanks for the greatest gift of all—Jesus!

Dec. 24: Pierson Bible Church will have a Christmas Eve service at 6:00 p.m .and also a New Year’s Eve service at 6:00 p.m. The church is located at 101 Grand St., Pierson.

Dec. 24: Resurrection Lutheran, 180 Northland Drive, in Sand Lake, will have a Christmas Eve Candlelight service at 7 p.m. on December 24. Everyone is welcome!

Dec. 24: The Courtland-Oakfield and White Pines United Methodist Churches will have their combined Christmas Eve Candlelight worship service at 7:00 p.m., at Courtland-Oakfield UMC. The church is located at 10295 Myers Lake Ave., just south of 13 Mile Rd. Everyone welcome!

Posted in NewsComments Off

CTA Christmas Band Concert


The CTA Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Bands performed their annual Christmas concert in the school auditorium Thursday evening, December 9, under the direction of Mr. Matthew Palmieri.  A large turnout of parents and students enjoyed traditional carols, marches, and chorales.  The music program at CTA continues to grow and thrive under Mr. Palmieri and we are thankful for all he does for our students.

Beginning Band           Intermediate Band      Advanced Band

Flute                                     Flute                                     Flute
Anna Erhardt                      Nacole Shattuck                 Abi Force
Hannah Shadley                 Annalise VanEnk               Bri Fredrickson
Josie Yarrington                 Clarinet                                Skyler Ingersoll
Clarinet                               Jarod Bouma                      Clarinet
Cortney Aspinall               Autumn Shelagowski         Michaela Smith
Caleb Cruz                          Angelique Black                  Lauren Temple
Ben Jones                           Kaleigh Keech                     Alto Sax
Gabe Kelly                         Trumpet                                Victor Wang
Jonathan McKinnon          Kennedy Martin                  Trumpet
Richie Pastrick                  Lindsay Stevens                  Kennedy Martin
Tayler Thebo                     Brandon Beck
Autumn Watson               Richard Bouma
Joseph Weaton                Breanna Feikema
Trumpet                            June Kyser
Dawson Armstrong          Ethan Lehman
Trombone                        Trombone
James Bishop                  Tory Melton
Alex Cruz                          Kelly A. Harris
Jacob Enter                     Joseph Plowman
William Grabinski           Jakob Roach
William Rogers              Jesse Schultz

Posted in CTA, SchoolsComments Off

Christmas Carries Over


Pilgrim Bible Church
West Pine St., Cedar Springs
Rev. Mike Shiery

Each Christmas we read again the stories of the birth of Jesus and the visits of the shepherds and wise men to His birthplace. These stories come with all the old charm, and their message thrills us again because of its wonder and meaning. I confess that the powerful truth of Christmas, that God loved each individual enough to give us all the Gift that we didn’t deserve, stirs and thrills me to the depths of my being.
I love the majestic simplicity of the Christmas story, as well as the lights, decorations, traditions, family time, feeling of good will, and even the snow and cold weather. One songwriter poignantly expressed the feelings of many people when he wrote: “If everyday could be just like Christmas, what a wonderful world this would be.”
Of course we know that Christmas Day will soon be past, the carols will no longer be sung, and the decorations will be packed and stored away for months to come. However, the spirit of Christmas does not need to be relegated to some box in the closet, but can forever impact us.
I believe that the road map for such living can be found in the story of the shepherds and the wise men. The Bible tells us that after the shepherds had been to the stable, they “returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.”
Then after the wise men had worshiped the babe, they returned home by a different route from that which they had previously traveled.
The thought that I would like us to consider is that the experience of the shepherds and of the wise men carried over in our lives. It wasn’t the experience of a day or an hour. It was an experience that would enrich their lives ever afterward.
It is the experiences which carry over that make life wonderful and beautiful and rich. Sometimes they are rather simple happenings; a boy will remember all his life the touchdown he made in an unimportant game; a girl will receive a school honor which brings pleasure all her life. Of course, there will also be outstanding events that carry over.
It is possible for us to have experiences this Christmas season which will carry over and give beauty and richness and meaning to our lives long after this Christmas is past.
I encourage you to make good memories, cherish family time, enjoy traditions, and revel in the joy of the Christmas season. But most of all, make the foundation of your Christmas experience a relationship with Jesus Christ. After all, He truly is the reason for the season.

Posted in Church Connection, From the PulpitComments Off

The Logistics of a Hassle-Free Holiday


tired shoppers

Photo courtesy of Getty images

Family Features

The holidays are supposed to be filled with love and good cheer, but the logistics of shopping for gifts, sending out cards, taking family trips and shipping packages can leave even the jolliest of people in a Scrooge-like mood.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can take the hassle out of the holidays and make them a little brighter for yourself and those around you.
key dates for shipping

Shop Smart

Avoid long lines, crowded parking lots and out-of-stock items with these helpful hints:
Get Ready — Before you head out to the mall, make a list of the gifts you want to buy and do some online price comparison. Use sites like BizRate, DealTime or Shopzilla, as well as check local ads to find the best price. You may want to call your local store to see if they have your item in stock, saving yourself a trip if they don’t have it.
Shop Early — Plan to shop early in the day, and early in the season. Morning crowds tend to be lighter and sales assistants tend to be more attentive first thing. And the earlier in the season you shop, the less you have to deal with long lines and frustrated shoppers. Plus, this year, while there are 29 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are only 20 shipping days.
Wrap It Up — Pay a little extra and let a charity group at the store wrap your gifts for you. This saves you time later and frees you up to get other things done — and you help a good cause.

shipping storeNo-Hassle Holiday Packing

Make sure your carefully chosen gifts get to their destinations intact with these helpful tips:
DO
—Check with experts before shipping fragile items (or items that might be considered hazardous or illegal to ship, such as perfume or cologne).
—Use materials the professionals use — foam packaging peanuts, bubble cushioning and packaging tape — to protect your gifts.
—Include a label on the inside of the package with both the destination and return addresses.
—Use a shipping option which provides a package-tracking number.
—Take batteries out of toys, electronics, etc., before shipping.
—Ship wrapped presents ahead to your destination, especially if traveling by air.
DON’T
—Wrap boxes in brown paper or tie with string.
—Use materials like newspaper or real popcorn to cushion items.
—Use old boxes or gift boxes for shipping items.
—Use duct tape, masking tape or cellophane tape to seal your boxes for shipping.

If you are not sure what size packaging to use, check with the experts. Copies Plus is a local UPS shipper in Cedar Springs, and owner Dan Spitzbergen has experience in shipping all kinds of goods. “We all like to send favorite foods and other goodies to our friends and family that live far away, and sometimes it takes odd size packaging,” noted Spitzbergen. “Don’t be afraid to come in and ask questions. We’ll work with you on what containers work best.”

luggageDon’t Lug Your Luggage

Navigating airport security, crowded terminals and long check-in lines can be stressful enough. Add luggage and gifts into the holiday travel mix and things can get really unpleasant. One solution travelers are turning to is shipping luggage to their destinations.
“Traveling without a suitcase is a tremendous convenience, especially during the hectic holiday travel season. Having your luggage awaiting your arrival and tracking it along the way is even better,” said Bryan Vial, The UPS Store franchisee from Phoenix, Ariz. “Ship your luggage as is or place it in a box for shipment. Or, at select locations, you can purchase a luggage box and avoid a suitcase altogether.”
Some major airline baggage fees can add up to over $100. Vial says that a luggage box of comparable size shipped via UPS Ground service is competitively priced and saves you time and hassle at the airport. If you are a member of the Automobile Association of America, you can receive a 15 percent discount off the full retail price of eligible products and services, and 5 percent off domestic U.S. shipping costs.
Luggage Shipping Tips
—Because of the duties and taxes associated with international shipments, The UPS Store does not recommend shipping luggage internationally.
—Federal Aviation Administration restrictions prohibit shipping hazardous materials, including colognes and perfumes, aerosol sprays, nail polish and cigarette lighters via air.
—Include packaging tape and a return shipping label in the luggage box for use when returning home.

Posted in NewsComments Off