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Tag Archive | "Christmas"

Holiday Happenings


CEDAR SPRINGS
A Christmas Carol
Dec. 9: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Brian Way and produced through special arrangements with Baker’s Plays and the Cedar Springs Theatre Association, will be opening Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. on the Kent Theatre stage in downtown Cedar Springs. The production runs through Dec. 11 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the 10th, and a final matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids 11 and under. They’re available at the Cedar Springs Public Library or by calling 616-696-0949 or 616-696-SHOW or before each performance at the Kent Theatre box office, which opens at 7 p.m. for evening performances and at 1:30 p.m. for matinee performances.
Meet Santa
Dec. 10: Santa will be at Family Fare in Cedar Springs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10.
Make a gingerbread house
Dec. 10: Calling all Kids to decorate a Gingerbread House at the Cedar Springs Public Library. Please preregister for supplies provided. Sign up for one of three sessions: 10-11am, 11:30-12:30pm or 1-2pm. Stop by the library to register, call 616-696-1910 or email your reservation in at ced@llcoop.org and put “Gingerbread House” in the subject line.
Santa at CTA
Dec. 15: Santa and his reindeer will be at Creative Technologies Academy, 350 Pine St., Cedar Springs, on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 6-9 p.m. Cost is $5 per person, or $20 per family. Kids 2 and under free. Ticket Includes: photo with Santa, a craft, refreshments, interaction with Santa’s reindeer, and much more!
Holiday movie at library
Dec. 28: Looking for something fun to do during the holidays? A holiday movie will be showing at the Cedar Springs Public Library just for you from 2-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
HOWARD CITY
Santa at the library
Dec. 10: Friends of the Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library welcomes the Tri County Jazz Band, Saturday, December 10, at 11:00 am. Santa will be visiting from 11:00 am-1:30 pm. Bake Sale from 10:00 am–2:00 pm.
SAND LAKE
Community Christmas
Dec. 10: Sand Lake Community Christmas will be December 10, Saturday, in Sand Lake. The Santa parade will begin at 10 a.m., and Santa will be at the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A tree lighting ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. and winners of the Gingerbread house contest announced at that time.
Adopt a family
Join the friends of the Sand Lake/Nelson Township Library, Sand Lake Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club by donating a new toy, clothing item or food for area families in need this Christmas. Items collected until December 12.
SPARTA
Pet Night with Santa
Dec. 8: 6-8 pm in Santa House (94 N. Union, behind library). Bring your furry friends to visit with Santa! Free photo with a pet food or cash donation to go to the Humane Society.
Santa Train & Kids Parade
Dec. 10: 10:10 am Enter the free raffle to win a chance to ride with Mr. & Mrs.
Claus in the kids parade! Santa Train arrives Saturday morning at 10:10 am.
Kids Parade to the Santa House after the Santa Train departs. Santa Hours 10:30 am-Noon. Santa’s Reindeer 9 am- Noon & free horse & wagon rides from 11 am to 1 pm.
Round Again Elf Workshop
Dec. 10: 10 am-Noon Kids are welcome to stop by the Elf workshop to pick out
and wrap a surprise gift for free!
Christmas Musical
Dec. 10-11: 6 pm Sparta Nazarene Church, ticket required, Call 887-1169
Visit Santa
Dec. 17: Visit Santa from 10 a.m.-noon in the Santa House, 94 N. Union.
Dec. 22: Visit Santa from 6-8 p.m. in the Santa House.
Living Nativity
Dec 21-24:  41st Annual “The Living Nativity,” Ballard Church (1633 10 Mile Rd) from 7-8:30 p.m.
Horse-drawn trolley rides
Dec. 24:  Horse-drawn trolley rides through Harper Drive in Sparta 6-9 p.m. Loading zone and treats hosted at Sparta Fire Dept.
SPENCER TOWNSHIP
Gingerbread Lane
Dec. 8: Take a stroll down Gingerbread Lane and enjoy some tasty gingerbread stories. Each child will make a simple gingerbread house. Registration is required and participation is limited. For all ages. Call 784-2016 to register.

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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. 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 at he corner of Main and Ash.
D.    The home of Aaron Clem, 13357 Jeanette Way, in Northland Estates
Mobile Home Park, off Northland Drive (just north of 16 Mile). There is a
light display on both sides of the road.
E.    5144 Fieldstone Meadow Drive, just east off 18 Mile at the curve NE
of town. Home of Jeff Shaffer. House has a full computer-animated light
show to music. Tune your radio to 93.3 and watch the lights from your car!
Over 15,000 lights.
F.    326 17 Mile Road, between Cedar Springs and Kent City, south side of
road.
G.    345 Tall Grass Drive in the Prairie Run subdivision, just north off Pine
St. Take Prairie Run Drive to Tall Grass Drive. The Brays’ home features
beautiful angels reflecting on the house along with many lights and decorations.
H.    2075 18 Mile Rd., between Algoma and Hanna. Home of Mike Meyer.
I.    14181 MacClain St., Gowen. Whites Winter Wonderland, the home of
Dave and Shelly White. Home also has a great musical light show. Tune
your radio to 89.1 Show starts at dusk 7 days a week and lasts till 10 p.m.
weekdays and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
J.    55 Beech St., in Sand Lake. These homeowners, Bob and Tracey Fitzgerald,
are excited to decorate their home and yard for Christmas, and welcome  you to drive by and enjoy the view!
Send us your home or homes you’ve seen to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Great Expectations


By Rev. Tom Holloway, Senior pastor
Solon Center Wesleyan Church
15671 Algoma, Cedar Springs
(just north of 19 Mile)

Do you have any expectations for the Christmas season this year? Does your family have any traditions at Christmas? Many people use the day after Thanksgiving for the tradition of rising early and battling the other shoppers at the big box stores for the hopes of a new TV, I-Pad 2, or some other electronic gadget at a bargain basement price.  I have to admit to doing some shopping on “Black Friday” this year, and though I didn’t get up early and wait in lines at 3:00 a.m., I must admit I have done it in the past and I really like watching that TV!
Our family has some other traditions that we like to do every Christmas, and one of them includes going out to a local tree farm and cutting down our Christmas tree on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Some times when we do this the weather is warm, and sometimes it’s cold, and when we’re lucky there is snow on the ground. This year it was both unseasonably warm and dry. It didn’t start raining until after we had gotten the tree loaded up on top of the minivan, and got on the road. But now it’s up, lit, and decorated, and it looks awesome!
These are the traditions, and the expectations that are a joy to me. I must admit that I have a certain level of expectation when it comes to the Christmas season, and when all of my expectations are met life is good. However, I have found that often times my expectations go unmet. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and what I would expect and anticipate doesn’t always happen. I, like you, have had Christmas seasons that I would like to forget. Losing a loved one close to Christmas can make the season that I love the most very difficult. Unfortunately, I have lost two grandparents very close to Christmas, and those years were not filled with joy, but rather sorrow.
When we read the Christmas story from Luke, we meet some characters in the Bible.  One of them is Jesus’ mother, Mary. Mary has some expectations in her life. She is engaged to a man named Joseph. Joseph is from the family line of King David, the most powerful King in Israel’s history. The Messiah would come from this family line, and when Mary gets a visit from the angel Gabriel, she finds out that her expectations are about to change.
28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
When met with some unexpected news, Mary reacts in a way that many of us would, she is “greatly troubled.” Wouldn’t we all be? When we find out that our lives are going to change, and that our expectations are going to be altered, we are usually greatly troubled. It happens when we lose a job; when we receive bad news about an illness; when we lose a loved one; when we are downsized, etc. Life can throw us some real curveballs.
Gabriel gives Mary the best news though, because he tells her that God is with her. Life is going to change for Mary and Joseph; it will be difficult to deal with the news of this miraculous birth, because people will question the validity of it. People will question Mary’s character. Joseph will have to be brave.  Life is going to change and be more difficult, but even through it all, God will be with them.
So you might have some unexpected news this Christmas, and life may get altered. Life might throw you a curveball you didn’t see coming. But Jesus is there for you, and He’s not in the manger—He is with you to walk you through life’s difficulties. Expect and anticipate great things this Christmas season. As the angel tells Joseph, “Immanuel” means God with us!

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Christmas fund distribution for needy families


Deadline to apply is December 9

Due to the generosity of the late Evelyn Cossin, there are limited funds available again this year to assist some families in need for Christmas. The funds are available only to families living in the Cedar Springs city limits. Please send or bring letters requesting assistance to: Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main St., PO Box K, Cedar Springs, MI 49319, C/O – Janet Avery.
All letters should include some brief summary of your need for assistance. Letters must be submitted, postmarked and received no later than Friday, December 9.
Note: If awarded some assistance, we will send you a letter informing you of our pick up times of 10am–noon and 7pm-8pm on Thursday, December 15 at Cedar Springs UMC.  All letters received will receive some notification of acceptance or denial of assistance.

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POST to collect toys for needy


Would you like to do something special for families in need this Christmas? You can partner with us to provide toys for needy children in Kent County. The Post is participating in the Toys for Tots program again this holiday season, as a drop off site for toys.
Toys for Tots is a volunteer organization whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys for kids 0-16, and distribute them to children who would not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Toys for teens are always needed.
The program runs now through the first two weeks of December. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office at 36 E. Maple Street in Cedar Springs, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you can’t make that time, call us to make other arrangements.
Together we can make this Christmas special for many children!

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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.

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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.

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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. 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.

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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!

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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

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