Another holiday season is upon us. The Neff Zone tradition has always been to focus only on fun things during this period and this year will be no different. If some smiles are generated along the way then all the better. Some interesting things about Michigan is a good starting point. 


When families gather this time of year the playing of games is fun. “Card games are always in style. You can never go wrong with one of the six card games that all Michiganders seem to love  —including some that were born right here in the Mitten.” (


Euchre is the top choice. “Euchre is a cooperative card game beloved among Michiganders for generations. The game seems to be known only by residents in America’s 'Euchre Belt,' which includes Michigan and other Midwest states like Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.” Rounding out the list are: Flinch, What in the Wild, Hide Your Nuts, Beer Pressure, and Best Treehouse Ever. 


If you're inducted into your family's Euchre Hall of Fame, you'll be in good company. There are several, unique halls of fame in Michigan. The list includes: The Michigan Whitetail Hall of Fame Museum (Grass Lake), the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame (Ishpeming), the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame  (Troy), the  Michigan Women's Historical Center and Hall of Fame (Lansing), and the Automotive Hall of Fame (Dearborn). Photos of all at:


Food is always a significant part of the holidays. Michigan has some fine restaurant destinations and sixteen have been featured on the Food Network's “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” These include the Fly Trap in Ferndale and the Meat BBQ in Lansing. Perhaps the most unique, however is Joe's Gizzard City in Potterville. “This place is famous for its deep fried chicken gizzards. It also serves up chicken dinners, hot sandwiches, hand battered onion rings, poutine, nachos, fish and burgers.” See the list at:


Snow on the ground is good news for businesses in northern Michigan. According to, our state ranks third in the country for wintertime fun. “Some travelers prefer destinations that transform into winter wonderlands during the colder months. There are plenty of things to enjoy when enough snow is around.”


The site touts: “The Great Lake State has travelers doing plenty in the colder months. From snowmobiling to cross-country skiing, Michigan's historic lighthouses and picturesque lakeside can be appreciated in the winter. Admire the beauty of Michigan against a backdrop of a glinting sun overlooking the shores of the Great Lakes.” (


On the other hand, sometimes not being on a list is a good thing. On a MoneyWise ranking, Michigan is nowhere to be found. An article titled “These 15 US cities have the worst weather for living your best life in retirement,” explains why. 

The “worst” five in the list include: Tucson (Arizona), Riverside-San Bernardino (California), Boston (Massachusetts), and Los Angeles (California). The top locale to avoid is  San Jose (California). 


You may know the way to San Jose, but beware. “The Silicon Valley is not only expensive to live in, it’s also prone to natural disasters. Insurance website Insurify says San Jose is one of America’s riskiest cities for flooding, and like much of the rest of California, the city’s susceptible to wildfires. It has been made worse by the ongoing drought conditions in the region.” (


Michigan is not on that “worst” list, but when it comes to a popular place in which to live a location in the state made the top ten. “A June 2022 survey by Money and Morning Consult found that some cities have attracted more young homebuyers in recent years than others. SmartAsset analyzed the cities where more young people are buying homes.” (


Grand Rapids finished tied for ninth(with Roseville, CA). The top eight cities were: Surprise (AZ) Chesapeake (VA), Laredo (TX),  Tacoma (WA), Port St. Lucie (FL), Ontario(CA), Naperville (IL), and Hialeah (FL). 


Perhaps why Grand Rapids is up-and-coming has something to do with another listing: “Ranked: America’s Best States to Do Business In.” Michigan finished sixteenth, which is pretty respectable. 


“The ease with which one can do business varies state by state. There are many considerations that factor into starting a business like the available workforce, the condition of local infrastructure, access to investors, a culture that’s open to business, and so on. A study from CNBC measured eighty-eight factors across 1ten broad categories.” See a cool graphic at:


Closer to home, it's encouraging to see a local business recognized by a national news source. Teton Gravity Research recently posted a neat video about Caberfae Peaks Resort. Teton said: “The night-skiing is magical and the groomers impeccable. Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a soulful adventure.” Watch the video at:


Finally, another holidays tradition is the Neff Zone Holidays Page: On this page are all sorts of crafts, games puzzles, recipes, jokes, and things to see and do. The page is mainly for the kidlings, but adults might find some things of interest too. If you're decorating your Christmas tree in the near future, check out the guide that shows how to make your own decorations with step-by-step instructions. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and