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Inside this issue . . . The holiday season, the most perfect time of year. Everyone — whether they are in Highlands Ranch or across the globe — enjoys unique traditions that makes the holidays special, and the TRHS Media seniors wanted to share their favorites. Jordan Lear 1.Hiding a pickle ornament in a tree; the one who finds it earns a prize. 2.Christmas morning. 3.Christmas Eve dinner after candlelight service. McKenna Frakes 1.Tree cutting. 2.Georgetown for a weekend. 3.Christmas party. Maddy Stadler 1.Christmas morning — presents wrapped, but no name on them. A Bible scavenger hunt. 2.Christmas Eve — grandparents house and open presents. 3.Bake a cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday. Caitlin Estes 1.My sister and I swap one gift on Christmas Eve. 2.Sweet potato biscuits on Christmas morning. 3.Decorating Christmas cookies.

December 10, 2019

Sophia Romano 1.Making Christmas cookies. 2.Going ice skating in Beaver Creek. 3.Going skiing on Christmas morning. Ryken Kucinski 1.Go to aunt’s house and eat dinner Christmas Eve. 2.Make Christmas cookies. 3.Big family get togeher at the end of December.

Letter from the Editors This issue, we decided to come home for the holidays, and choose a theme for our issue around this joyous season. You’ll find stories and graphics that will inspire, excite, and even bring up memories of years past. We incorporated the warmth of this time of year with a specific color story you will notice throughout the pages. Happy holidays, Grizzlies! — Caitlin, Sophia, and Jordan

ContenTs 3.What is Home? 4.Childhood Stories 5.Movie List 6.Holiday Depression and Stress 7.Semester Finals 8.DIY Gift Ideas 9.Hot Gifts 10.Recipes

11.Best Lights in Colorado 12.Bucket List 13.Ice Skating 14.Crazy Sports Injuries 15.Vacation Spots 16.Music Playlist

Cover photo by Caitlin Estes and McKenna Frakes Candle photo by McKenna Frakes

STAFF Editor-in-Chief Jordan Lear Caitlin Estes Sophia Romano Art Director Maddy Stadler Photographers McKenna Frakes Xander Lees Sierra Martinez Caitlin Marty Ally Stadler Webmasters Jasmine Vaughan Emma Rygh

Broadcasters Carter Brockbank Kaleo Comer Will Douglass Alex Downs Ryken Kucinski Carson Shea Steven Taylor Writers Lillian Moats Michael Reyes Jack Ryan Mallory Travis Adviser Nikki Sameshima

December 10, 2019

What is Home? Jack Ryan


Maddy Stadler

I have a huge family, with three sisters and two brothers. When we moved from Minnesota to Colorado, we had to live in a tiny two-bedroom apartment. We didn’t have a lot of space, but we were able to live happily with what we had. Home can be different for each person, with some people believing that it is a place where you live. However, others believe that it can be wherever you feel most comfortable. It can be a site you love to be, which can vary from a place where you and your friends hangout or a place you go to be by yourself to process your thoughts or think about your day. According to an article by, former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal spent more than $70,000 at Walmart on home goods, furnishings, clothing and electronics, right after he was traded from the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns. It was Walmart’s biggest purchase in history. “So they already got the apartment set up, and I ain’t got nothing. I ain’t got no towels, I ain’t got no pots and pans ... I’m Walmart’s biggest customer ... Pans, socks, underwear, tank tops, TVs, printers, computers,” said the hall of fame center in a article. He’s not the only one spending on home goods. Home furnishings stores generated about $106.78 billion worth of sales in 2015, according to the article U.S. Furniture Retail - Statistics & Facts on But home is about more than the simple furnishing. Recently, the Habitat for Humanity website asked readers, “What does home mean to you?” They got various responses. “Home means a future,” said Kelly, who responded to the same website question. “Once we had a stable home, we could think beyond where we were going to live from week to week, and we could begin to look ahead to where we wanted to go. Home is the base where everything begins. I think that home is simply wherever you’re surrounded by people who love you.” Junior Madison Perry had a very similar opinion.

“It means a warm, comfortable environment, where I feel safe. It reminds me of love, and a sense of freewill where I don’t have to hide anything.” Home should be a lot like this, because your family should never judge you; they should always support you. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be afraid of showing emotion in your home. If you don’t feel comfortable in your home, one author suggests displaying fresh flowers, preparing homemade meals, using comfortable pillows, and making the house smell good. “You want it to be a place where you can create memories based on what you love,” according to author Tiffany Taylor. “If you’re an outdoorsy person, then include an outdoor area that fits you. If you prefer to sit by the fireplace while the snow falls, then create a nook surrounded by that. Use each of your senses when designing a home that brings comfort. What smells do you like? What feels good to you? What do you want to see? These things matter.Your house matters.You matter. And your house should reflect that.”


December 10, 2019


Movie posters by Wikipedia Images | Graphic by Caitlin Estes

Growing up, we heard stories that fueled our imaginations and taught us lessons that we remember and use to this day. “Watching them again or even just thinking about them, we can summon up intimate feelings about everything from first dates to bereavement, from appreciating friendship to getting over a midlife crisis. Films really do help us to preserve memories and identify significant milestones in our lives. They are as powerful as music in re-awakening our past selves,” Geoffrey Macnab writes in an article called The Films That Have Changed Our Lives. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer taught us that we don’t have to fit in. Frosty the Snowman taught us about leadership. How The Grinch Stole Christmas taught us about kindness. A Christmas Carol taught us to be selfless, and The Polar Express taught us that seeing is not believing. “Childhood Christmas movies filled me with Christmas spirit and extreme joy for how happy the holiday can make people,” says ThunderRidge senior Michael Robinson. So, let us take a journey into our childhoods to remember the reasons why we loved these beloved stories.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, made in 1964, portrays a beloved reindeer with a bright, red, glowing nose. The story follows Rudolph as he tries to fit into society. The movie demonstrates bullying, and brings it to light as a major issue in society. Musical numbers such as We’re A Couple of Misfits, which says, “Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nit-wit. Just because my nose glows, seems I don't fit in,” allows kids to remember this important moral. These songs stay with us through our childhoods and even into our teen years. Musical numbers such as this allow kids to remember this important moral: we don’t have to fit in, but that we need to be our own person. Rudolph shows that even with quirks, you can be a leader, because he is depicted as the leader of the reindeer that pulls Santa’s magic sled. Frosty the Snowman, released in 1969, is about a snowman that comes to life from a magical hat. Once again, musical numbers play a critical role in the remembrance of this lesson. The song Frosty the Snowman was written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson in 1950. This number develops the movie and shows Frosty interacting with the children and him eventually leaving. When he must go away, he leaves Karen, the female protagonist, in charge of the others.Through this action, we learned that anyone can be a leader, no matter who you are. His leave of absence can be summed up in one simple, helpful quote: “Don't cry, Frosty's not gone for good.You see, he was made out of Christmas snow and Christmas snow can never disappear completely.” How The Grinch Stole Christmas, made in 2000, teaches us about kindness and leadership; it teaches us how small acts — like a warm hug — can change a person. Its comical plot makes us laugh, but gets its point across with ease. This is the movie we grew up with, and the new one is nothing short of magical. Both share the same message: we can allow ourselves and the younger youth to be reminded of this message and to implement it into this sometimes terrifying world. “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. The the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...He thought ...means a little bit more.” The Grinch learns about kindness and though it is not necessarily a physical action, it can change a person.The Grinch was a never-loved character in the beginning of the movie, but his leadership to return the Christmas decorations demonstrates both themes.

December 10, 2019


A Christmas Carol, 2009, takes us on a journey with Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns how to be selfless. This journey alongside Scrooge and the three ghosts teaches us the true meaning of Christmas through appreciating the merriment of the holiday season surrounded by our loved ones. It is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ story, which turned an already classic to a worldwide film sensation. In addition to the true meaning of Christmas, it shows that we, as individuals, have the power to change our future. “Ghost of the Future, I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart,” says Scrooge. In addition to the true meaning of Christmas, this quote shows that we, as individuals, have the power to change our future and that people can change for the better.

The Polar Express, one of the most beloved Christmas movies from our childhood, teaches us how seeing is not always believing. It kept us in awe with wonder and our imaginations fluttered to life when the movie came on television.This movie is a classic and it will be a movie we will someday show our children for the same reason our parents showed us- mystery and awe supersedes reason and logic. This awe of the bell has stuck with us and most likely, this idea of truly believing has stayed with us throughout our childhood into our adult years.

All of our childhood holiday movies have one thing in common: the universal idea that “sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see,” says The Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg. These holiday movies bring our imagination to life, and they will stick with us for years. Though we grow old, these stories will never fade from our minds.


December 10, 2019

HOw to handle: HOLIDAY STRESS Caitlin Estes

Mckenna Frakes

Every year, we see the glitz and glamour that comes with the holiday season — twinkling lights, immaculately wrapped gifts, cheerful families —but unfortunately, there are harsh realities that are not typically highlighted. A major source of unhappiness during the holiday season is classified as the holiday blues. It can be triggered by many things, including, but not limited to: pressure to be constantly happy, recent loss of a loved one, unhappy experiences from past holiday seasons, and even a loss of sunlight. In many regions, this time of year can be extremely dark and gloomy. This lack of sunlight, if prolonged, can lead to a more serious disorder, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms may include low energy, loss of interest, anxiety, and extreme mood swings, among others. The easiest treatment is jetting off to a sunnier region, but that may not be reasonable for many, so light therapy is an alternative option. Holiday stress can also affect everyday people. It can range from simply being overwhelmed about buying gifts and pleasing family to becoming physically ill, to the pressure to be constantly happy and to deliver the perfect Christmas experience. "Any time we set ourselves up with high expectations, it's not going to work out that way," said Debra Kissen, executive director of the Light on Anxiety CBT Treatment Center in Chicago, in a U.S. News article. Despite these stressors, there are ways to solve the problems that the holiday season poses. For some, opting out of the family gathering can do wonders for their health, while others can find solace in everyday habits, such as starting a gratitude journal or taking time to exercise or meditate for mental clarity. Low-income families, very often, fall into the stress of the holiday season. Amidst the holiday cheer comes money concerns, as parents want to be able to provide the best for their children, but budgets fall short of fulfilling these dreams. One low-income mother, Andrea Fuller, explains her struggles during the holiday season to Talk Poverty. “Mixed in… was the sinking feeling that came with not knowing what I would tell my two children if I couldn’t afford any Christmas presents.” The issue in question does not become fulfilled just by working harder. There comes a time when there just aren’t enough hours left in the day, and no more sacrifices to be made. Many organizations have come about to help these families, including The Salvation Army and Toys for Tots. Stress about the holiday season does not just affect low-income families. One major component for all classes is

family gatherings. In most family dynamics, there are toxic relatives thst damper the spirit. One common problem faced by those who suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression, is the criticism received by family members. Gloria Pope, director of advocacy and public policy for Chicago’s Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, in an article with LifeTherapy, comments on the issue., “Some relatives don’t really believe you’re depressed. They think you’re just lazy, or that it’s all in your head. It can be really hurtful.” Although the holidays can bring many sources of stress and unhappiness, the best way to combat these struggles is to find what makes you happy, and focus on that. The rest will come.

December 10, 2019


HOw to handle: MIDTERM STRESS Maddy Stadler

Sierra Martinez

With the holiday season in full tilt, finals week is steadily approaching. Upperclassmen know the stresses that it brings, and freshmen are soon to find out. Welcome to your first finals week, freshmen. This will be a very interesting time for you, because finals week is crazy for everyone, especially high school newbies. But don’t freak out, because The Growl is here to provide you with guidelines for surviving finals week. Always make sure that you’re getting enough sleep before and during the test week. Don’t always stay up until four in the morning studying, because you don’t want to fall asleep during the test. “Try and give yourself at least seven to eight hours a night for sleeping so you’re nice and rested for the day,” said Arapahoe High School senior Cyrus Samimi. Before you come to school, make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast. Having something in your stomach before classes will give you the energy you will need for test taking. “I usually try and eat a good big breakfast like waffles or something like fruit also,” said junior Amber Jansen. Study smarter, not harder. Make sure when studying for tests, you do a method that works for you. When you’re done with a final on one of the days of the week, make sure that you’re studying for your other finals the following days. “I go over my notes and use flashcards to go over my study guides,” said Samimi. Brain breaks are also important during finals week. You cannot get through the day without a break; it’s just as important to relax. When all your finals are done, make sure to treat yourself to a reward. Everyone deserves to have a relaxing time after finals, because the end of the semester can be stressful. Have a stress-free weekend before Christmas, and enjoy the long break!



December 10, 2019

diy gift ideas for everyone Sophia Romano

Maddy Stadler

This is perfect for someone who needs a relaxing night or day. Holiday movie night in a box

A small, sweet little treat for a someone who loves chocolate.

In a holiday themed box or basket, add popcorn, holiday-themed pajamas, your favorite holiday movie, candies to snack on, and your marble-dipped mug to drink for hot cocoa.

Hot cocoa kit

In a mason jar, pour hot chocolate powder mix to fill 2/3 of the jar. Then, pour a layer of mini marshmallows over the hot chocolate powder mix. Lastly, mix in a few chocolate chips, and tie a ribbon around the lid.

Try making these special somethings for yourself, or for a friend or family member. These gifts will remind your favorite people how much they are valued. DIY Photo Coaster

On a 4x4 inch white ceramic tile, apply a layer of Mod Podge., Then place a photo over the wet layer of Mod Podge, and let it dry for 5 minutes.Decorate the front with optional washi tape. Apply 3 coats of Mod Podge to the back of the tile, waiting 15 minutes between each coat. On the front of the tile, apply another three coats of Mod Podge, waiting 15 minutes between each coat. Stick felt pads to each of the corners on the back of the tile, and wait three days before using.

Marble dipped mug

Fill a disposable pan with 2-3’ inches of warm water. Add as much nail polish as your want to the surface of the water. Use a toothpick to swirl the nail polish across the water to create a marble effect. Dunk mug into the nailpolish water. Let dry overnight

December 10, 2019


hot gifts for the holidays Michael Reyes


Target AMC Theaters Food

Jordan Lear


LED Room Lights Airpods/headphones TV


Macbook Bluetooth Speakers Portable Phone Charger




Endgame Joker Hobbs and Shaw

Leggings Shoes Sweatshirts

Bedding Kitchen Supplies Room Decor




Hawaii Bahamas Europe

Honda Subaru Toyota

Earrings Necklace Rings


December 10, 2019

yummy holiday cookie Recipes Ally Stadler, recipes by Jacee Elbeck

Ally Stadler

Winter is a wonderful time to bake delicious, warm cookies, so The Growl is providing these recipes, so enjoy! Gluten Free Sugar Cookies

2 ½ cups of gluten-free flour. 1 teaspoon of baking powder. ½ teaspoon of salt. 1 cup of white sugar. ¾ cup of softened salted butter. 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 2 eggs.

Preheat the oven to 325°F, then combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the other ingredients, and when they are both fully mixed, combine them into one bowl. This will create a dough-like mixture that will seem like a different consistency than most cookies. Roll the dough into medium-sized balls, place them on the pan, and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of white sugar. 1 cup of lightly brown sugar. 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 2 eggs. 1 teaspoon of baking soda. ½ teaspoon of baking powder. ½ teaspoon of salt.

Take all of your ingredients and add them to a bowl, and a dough substance should form. After the dough is formed into a medium-sized ball, turn the oven to 375°F, and bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden.

December 10, 2019


best lighting displays in colo. Ally Stadler

Ally Stadler Longmont Lights


Colorado Christmas Lights

Broomfield Thornton


Westminster Commerce City


Denver Zoo

Botanic Gardens


Hudson Gardens


Littleton Downtown Litteton

Highlands Ranch



Many people enjoy viewing the beautiful holiday light displays. The Denver Zoo has some incredible lights in the area, and is an affordable option, costing from $15- $20, depending on your age. According to The Denver Zoo website, more than 2 million lights are hung throughout the 80 acres. Another nearby Denver lighting display is at the Botanic Gardens. It has phenomenal lights, and costs $18-$20. This has been a continuous tradition for more than three decades. Just outside of Denver, Longmont Lights has a beautiful light display and is free to enter. It features a parade and many different events, such as a Tree Lighting Ceremony and a festival for young children. About 30 minutes from Denver is Historic Downtown Littleton, and it has a very popular light display that is free of cost. Historic Downtown Littleton has been hosting a holiday event for 34 consecutive years. Check out this map for an easy guide to the light displays this holiday season.



December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019

ICE SKATING Sophia Romano


Sophia Romano

If you are looking for something fun to do during this winter season, then why not try ice skating? There are so many different locations, with varying prices, so there is a budget-friendly ice skating option for everyone. 1. DEN Plaza Skating Rink at DIA Location: 8500 PeĂąa Blvd., Denver Price: Free Dates: Through Jan. 6

2. Beaver Creek Ice Skating Rink

Location: 60 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek Village Price: $10 for children 10 years and younger, $15 for adults, $5 if you bring your own skates Dates: through April 14

3. Belmar Ice Skating Rink

Location: 439 S. Teller St., Lakewood Price: Through Jan. 27 Dates: $7.50 for children 12 and under, $9.50 for adults

4. The Rink at Evergreen Lake

Location: 29612 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen Price: $6 for kids aged 4-17, $7 for 18- to 59-year-olds; $5 for seniors 60 and up. Military price is $5. Dates: Dec. 15 - March 3

5. Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park

Location: 1601 Arapahoe St., Denver Price: Free. Skate rentals are $6 for children under 12 years, and $8 for adults Dates: Through Feb. 6

6. Keystone Lake

Location: Lakeside Village, 0172 Decatur Rd, Keystone Price: $10 for children 18 years and under, $15 for adults Dates: Nov. 30 through late March to early April

7. Rink at the Rock

Location: 414 Perry St, Castle Rock Price: $4 for skate rentals, $6 for children 11 and under, $8 for adults Dates: Nov. 23, 2019 - Feb. 16, 2020.

8. Silver Circle Ice Skating Rink in Aspen

Location: 433 E Durant Ave, Aspen Price: $7 for adults, $5.50 for children. Skate rental is $3 per person Dates: November - March

9. Parker Ice Trail

Location: 20115 Mainstreet, Parker Price: $6 for children 10 and under, $8 for adults, $4 for skate rental Dates: December-February

10. Vail Square Ice Rink

Location: Lionshead Village,Vail Price: Kids 12 and under cost $10 and adults are $15; pay $5 with your own skates


December 10 , 2019

Winter sports cause Injuries Sierra Martinez

Canva While Colorado is famous for its winter sporting venues, it is important to know that injuries are common among athletes in our state. There are about 600,000 people nationally injured skiing or snowboarding, according to, and the number of people injured while ice skating is about 50,000 injuries per year, according to While most injuries are not incredibly serious, there were 37 catastrophic skiing and boarding injuries during the 20170-2018 season, according National Ski Areas Association. Catastrophic injuries include spinal injuries resulting in paralysis and loss of limb.


Most common injuries Concussions Fractures Ankle Sprains Pulled Hamstring Cuts Ankle Sprains Foot Sprains Spinal Injuries


Most common injuries Knee Sprains Fractured Wrists Broken Legs Cranial Injuries Shoulder Dislocations Ankle Sprain


Most common injuries Wrist Injuries Arm Injuries Shoulder Injuries Thumb Injuries

Ski and snowboard injury statistics from unofficialnetworks. com/2017/03/26/7-surprising-facts-ski-deaths-injuries/. Ice Skating injuries injury statistics from:

December 10, 2019


FAVORITE COLO. Getaway Spots Malory Travis

December 10, 2019


Holiday Music Favorites Caitlin Estes

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Profile for The Growl, Thunderridge High School

The Growl December 2019 Home for the Holidays  

The Growl December 2019 Home for the Holidays