The most wonderful (stressful) time of the year

December 17, 2014


It’s Christmas time, and sweet aunt Jane or great grandpa Bill is in town to celebrate the season. With every question imaginable, from where you’ll attend college to what you’ve done with your life for the last year, it might be hard to handle.

Dealing with family members can be stressful during the holidays. The Apple Leaf found some ways to help.
Photo Illustration by Lexi Rivera
Dealing with family members can be stressful during the holidays. The Apple Leaf found some ways to help.

“Unlike most families, mine doesn’t have that crazy uncle,” junior Kayli Brown said. “We do three separate Christmases with each part of my family so there isn’t any clashes between family members, which is nice, but I’m the oldest cousin, so sometimes the little ones get kind of crazy and annoying.”

More than crazy family members: the overly-opinionated family members, of which senior Devan McAllister knows about. “I smile and nod and focus on the food,” she said.

Some families always have craziness, freshman Eloise Sheets said. “Have you met my mother? I deal with crazy every day,” she said. “If I have any crazy family members, I usually try to take everything they say with a grain of salt. They don’t mean any harm.”

And, there’s always the option of just going to sleep. “Because sometimes both sides of my family come and they make my house awkward and weird, so I just dip out and go to sleep,” senior Manny Rivas said.

The holidays bring families together, too. “I like sitting around the fire with my family while my relatives tell funny stories,” Sheets added.


With holiday parties galore and extra sugar to indulge in, sometimes it’s a bit too easy to go overboard during this festive season.

How can you stay healthy during the holidays?
Photo Illustration by Lexi Rivera
How can you stay healthy during the holidays?

Some Wenatchee High School students participate in winter sports, like senior Graham Morgan. Although he isn’t wrestling this year, he remembers the pressures of staying fit during Christmas break in years past.

“It’s so tempting to just sit down and eat all the wonderful foods with your family,” Morgan said. “It’s nice not worrying about that anymore. It makes the holidays a lot more fun.”

“I’ll be going outside and running or walking with my family,” Brown, who usually swims with the Velocity swim team during winter, said. Brown won’t be swimming this year due to an injury.

When considering the cold temperatures outside and additional germs going around, WHS students might also be more susceptible to the cold and flu.

“Staying healthy is hard during the holidays,” freshman Lara Hefner said. “I always make sure that I have gloves in my coat pocket and a scarf on.”

Getting extra sleep, washing hands regularly, and not sharing those tasty holiday beverages will keep you healthy during this holiday season, too.


Senior Amber Jellison moved to the Wenatchee Valley in seventh grade from Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Her dad, however, still lived in that state, so the holidays meant lots of travel for Jellison.

Tips to cope with long lines and airports during the holiday season.
Photo Illustration by Lexi Rivera
Tips to cope with long lines and airports during the holiday season.

“It was hectic with all the people but at the same time nice with all the cheery people and holiday spirit within the airports,” she said. “It was pretty amazing though when you would take off and looking down on the cities all you could see is the white snow and bright colorful lights on houses — it was a pretty amazing sight.”

Jellison described people in the airport generally as really happy or nice with Christmas spirit. Others, though, were just “on a mission to get to where they were going,” she said.

What about those dreaded weather delays when traveling? “Flights were backed up in and out of Alaska. Often times the flight would get canceled because the weather was too bad, but I’m not really sure how I dealt with that … something about the holiday season makes traveling a little bit better,” she said.

If traveling this season, always plan ahead. Arrive early instead of late, and remember to have paperwork or travel documents readily available to help make the process go faster. If you’re worried about getting germs on an airplane, train, or subway, put some Vicks VapoRub under your nose to block any potential germs from entering that way.


The holidays are more than just a time for decorating and enjoying the snow but also a time for giving and getting back. Instead of spending everything down to your last penny on loved ones for Christmas, less expensive and creative gifts can be given and will still show someone that you care.

Making a list and checking it twice —  how to survive shopping this holiday season.
Photo Illustration by Lexi Rivera
Making a list and checking it twice — how to survive shopping this holiday season.

Freshman Yamile’ Chavez knows what it’s like to have many gifts to give out during the month of December. “I like to look for things that are on sale during Christmas time. I also like to put small things together in a basket for someone; it’s creative and affordable,” Chavez said.

If you’re a smart shopper, you would have known that the best time to purchase less expensive gifts was on Black Friday. This day after Thanksgiving may have been hectic; however, the money you would have saved makes it worth it.

“I like to get gifts on Black Friday and try to find things that people don’t already have. If I don’t have that much money to spend, I’ll make arts and crafts that I look up online,” sophomore Amy Sand said. “Gift giving is really about what comes from the heart.”

If you missed out on Black Friday deals, there are still many other opportunities to save money on gifts.

“On the Groupon app there are really good deals on random things anywhere from frozen yogurt cards to Segway rentals, and I think those make great gifts,” sophomore Mckenna Norland said.

If you really don’t have extra cash to spend on Christmas gifts, creative and homemade gifts can still send the same message. A CD compiled with songs that you both enjoy can be meaningful and fun. If you really want to get in the Christmas spirit, decorate a homemade ornament for someone made out of household items. For other ideas, check out Pinterest and look up homemade holiday gifts.


The cold weather doesn’t always seem inviting during the winter, so it may be easy to stay indoors and occupy yourself with your phone all day. Yet winter brings many activities that you aren’t able to do the rest of the year.

When the first snowfall covers the valley, snow is dumping up at Mission Ridge. Skiing and snowboarding take up most winter weekends for WHS students, including sophomore Patrick Tilly.

“You have freedom when skiing. It’s a sport where you can do your own thing, there’s no one telling you what to do which makes it more fun,” Tilly said.

Junior Isaak Flynn never wastes a snowy day inside, and hits the slopes in a different way.  “My family used to have this big hill in my backyard and every winter my friends and I would build a track from the back to the front yard. My homies and I were always ‘sleddily’ mobbin’.”

If snow sports aren’t your thing, enjoying the scenery that winter time brings to Leavenworth with someone can be a fun date.

“I like the pretty lights, and it’s always a fun day to go with your special someone. It’s just nice to get out of town,” senior Deepika Verma said.

But on the coldest of days, sometimes curling up indoors with some Pillsbury Christmas-themed cookies and a movie can be the best option.

“I like cuddling up to a fire, watching Christmas movies with friends and drinking hot chocolate. It gets me into the holiday spirit,” junior Riley Brown said.


Tips and tricks to stay up with the current style during the holiday season.
Photo Illustration by Luke Strahm
Tips and tricks to stay up with the current style during the holiday season.

Staying warm is important during the winter, yet with students also trying to keep up with their style, some problems can be faced. It’s no longer the season to throw on a T-shirt and a pair of shorts or a dress because even being inside the school can leave someone shivering.

Keep your trendy look this holiday season with these tips.
Photo Illustration by Luke Strahm
Keep your trendy look this holiday season with these tips.

To look cute and stay warm during the winter, junior Bella Dahl suggests “big sweaters, tights under skirts, thigh high socks with boots, and dark lipstick” for a stylish outfit in the cold weather.

Some students who aren’t a fan of dresses and skirts in the winter have some different options.

“I like leggings or jeans with short or tall boots with a light sweater and light jacket over that just to give extra umph,” junior Tiana Kind said. “If it’s really cold out, a cute beanie and a scarf can pull an outfit together.”

For guys, picking out a “cool” yet warm outfit seems to be a little more difficult, though for senior Luke Hakensen, dressing for winter is his forte.

“I got puffy coats on deck, retro jackets, and shoes and pants always have to match to keep me lookin’ crispy,” Hakensen said.

For some guys, it’s all about looking casual in the winter. “I like to wear canvas jackets and warm socks to keep warm,” senior Christian Ochoa said.

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