Facing a Christmas far from home

Last updated 08:28 13/12/2013
victoria rose-tucker
SUPPLIED/ Victoria Rose-Tucker

FELIS NAVIDAD: Spanish Christmas treats are piled high. Even the buildings are dressed up for the season.

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Mountainview High School year 13 student Victoria-Rose Tucker is spending a year with a host family in Castelldefels near Barcelona as part of an AFS exchange.

Oh Christmas, it's the most beautiful time of the year!

I'm looking forward to experiencing Christmas in another culture and will just have to be content with being with my real family via Skype.

In a few weeks I'll be celebrating Christmas, all the way across the other side of the world from my family, my friends and familiarity.

There will be no over-crowded bed for me to rush to in the morning to wait with my family before bounding into the living room. There will be no summer sun beaming in through the windows, like a typical Kiwi summer Christmas. There will be no prayers of thanks and acknowledgement of Jesus' birthday before opening any presents.

And the thing that is most on my mind is how there will be no Tuckers!

One of the main reasons I'm not looking forward to Christmas is because I think I'll be very lonely and therefore sad.

I still don't feel like I am part of my Spanish family and so I'm worried that Christmas just won't feel like Christmas, if you know what I mean.

I am 99 per cent sure I will cry, but I will try to hide it from my host family ... I wouldn't want to be a downer at Christmas!

But anyway, things definitely will be different this year. I am sure that it will be a colder Christmas but I'm not sure of much else.

Already, there are beautiful lights being hung up in the streets, there are window displays of mini Christmas trees and magical elves, Christmas songs, like Mistletoe by Justin Bieber, playing down the aisles of the supermarkets, television advertisements using Santa as a means of capturing children's attention and then there are my friends ... all talking about the wonderful things they will do with their families for Christmas.

It has surprised me how many people think that I will return to New Zealand for Christmas.

The shock on their faces, when I inform them I won't be seeing my family until after my exchange in June, is pretty amusing.

As much as I would like to be with my family, a few thousand dollars for a plane ticket for a long, uncomfortable plane ride home for a few days doesn't sound THAT appealing at this stage ... maybe if I won Lotto, I could take my private jet.

I really don't have any money after paying for this exchange, and usually I absolutely love giving presents to all my loved ones.

I have no idea what to do about presents this year.

I can't really afford the postage of sending presents across to New Zealand, and my mum won't let me anyway. And what am I supposed to do about host family presents?

I have no idea.

There will be an extra special gift given to my family for Christmas this year, a new addition to the family, with my sister due to have a beautiful baby any day now. I'm very sad to be missing out on this but so happy as I have been begging my sister to have a baby ever since she got married.

Christmas is sneaking up on us so fast. It's nearly the end of this rollercoaster of a year and the beginning of another.

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A new part of my life started when I arrived in Spain, but I am still determined to make 2014 one of the best years of my life.

I hope everyone is prepared for some amazing things to come - I sure am!

Blessings and hugs,

- The Timaru Herald

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