Happy holidays!

 Dear friends,   It is truly the merriest time of the year and I can’t wait to celebrate. My sister is visiting for a month with her daughters and my mind is reeling from all the possibilities of celebration with my four-year old niece, Scarlett. The holidays are magical for many reasons but it’s always more fun when you can experience them with the exuberance of a child and she has exuberance in spades.   This issue is about celebration: of not just the holidays, but of life. Our feature story on Landers’ Visions is the perfect example. Collins Landers has made his profession realizing clients wildest fantasies when it comes to events. Not only does he perfect the lights, sound and set, he does it with a humble heart and a smile. His penchant for donating his time and talents to charities demonstrates his dedication to service and everyone who attends his events can feel it, even if they don’t know the name behind the magic. 

Christina Harlin

Christina Harlin 2

 Christina Harlin is a people watcher.  As an author of paranormal stories, including the new “Othernaturals” series, she tours haunted houses and spooky cemeteries with her son, Jake, who acts as her bodyguard, photographer and assistant. The locations inspire her to be sure, but it’s the people watching that really sparks her creativity.  “I’ve met so many interesting people,” she says. “They have great stories to tell and come from all walks of life. I can just hang back and listen to them talk, but I’ll share that I’m a writer and what I write about if someone asks.”

Landers’ Visions: The Life of the Party

Landers' Visions: The Life of the Party  NOTE THE NAME IS LANDERS' AND NOT LANDER'S. 10

Landers Collins created his company’s logo design in 1987 while in high school. The logo hasn’t changed since then, but Collins and his company, Landers’ Visions, has grown and adapted with the times to become one of Kansas City’s premier full-service event production companies.

It’s All About the Tree

It’s All About the Tree

For me and Clark Griswold, the kick-off to Christmas is puttin’ up the pine. Big, small, fake fir or real – doesn’t matter. This quiet custom gives us permission to proceed with the magical month of December.  And no one is left out.  Rich or poor.  Young and old. Those who pledge allegiance to the real thing or people who prefer plastic. No snootiness allowed in this season of sales, Santas and sleigh bells. In this place we are all created equal.

December 2015 Around Town

December 2015 Around Town 2

For up to one in four area residents, a small pin on the uniform of a law enforcement officer could be a life or death issue.

Qdoba Opening Day and Fundraiser for Local 42

Qdoba Opening Day and Fundraiser for Local 42 5

The Northland’s newest eatery, Qdoba Mexican Eats, opened November 2 with a ‘pay what you want’ promotion. The event raised $5,300 for the families of Fire Station Local 42, which lost two of its own in a fire in October. 

A heathier and happier you

A heathier and happier you 1

Best known for her roles in Groundhog Day and Four Weddings and a Funeral, among others, actress Andie McDowell spoke at the inaugural Wine & Wisdom Series event for North Kansas City Hospital’s Club W at The Courtyard by Marriott at Briarcliff.

Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets 8

Gerhard Lippman is from a one-horse, little town in Germany, not far from Frankfurt, called Empfertshausen. If you speak German, you may recognize that the word translates roughly to “one-horse town.”

Funeral Pre-Planning -Planning Ahead for Those Left Behind

Funeral Pre-Planning -Planning Ahead for Those Left Behind

No one wants to be buried in loafers after living a life that warranted stilettos. Maybe that’s why more and more people are deciding to pre-plan their final arrangements. Whether you choose a traditional funeral or a cremation option, every person is different and every service should be as well.

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen

The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen 3

December is a month of celebration for many faiths, the season to give and receive. It is in this spirit that author and cook Amelia Saltsman presents her newest book, The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen. Within the realm of six seasons of the Jewish holiday calendar, Saltsman is able to envelop the reader in her home, the culture of Jewish identity, if not religion and a welcoming table. 

Beauty Through the Lens

Beauty Through the Lens 8

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Only some can take that beauty and translate it for others to see. Joel Schneider is one such individual. This Northlander makes his living capturing special moments at weddings and in portraits but his passion for nature is amply displayed in his more personal work. 

Lazarus Ministries Revitalizes a Downtown Church and the Downtrodden

Lazarus Ministries Revitalizes a Downtown Church and the Downtrodden 5

In 1996, the congregation at Grand Avenue Temple United Methodist, at 205 E. 9th Street in Kansas City, Mo., had shrunk to some three families—a far cry from the hundreds it counted among its ranks in the glory days. The church had been active since 1865, but its community had altered greatly in the ensuing years, from a prosperous, busy commercial district to a neighborhood abandoned.