Exchange student brings new traditions to Corner Brook family
A family in Corner Brook is embracing some new traditions this holiday season to experience what it's like to celebrate Christmas they way people do in Switzerland.
Madlaina Stecher, 16, came to live with the Stuckless family in Corner Brook to improve her English skills, but that means she won't be able to be with her own family back in Switzerland this Christmas.
Terri Stuckless said she decided to help keep Stecher's traditions alive to make her feel as at home as possible, and that her two young daughters are enjoying two different versions of Christmas at once.
In Switzerland, Santa makes special visits to children to leave treats in their boots.
"We had a special request put in to Saint Nicholas to visit us [since] we have people connected to us now from that part of the world," Stuckless said.
"So St. Nicholas made a trip here to the kids and filled their boots."
Stecher said while she's missing home, she's certainly enjoying local customs.
"To open the presents in the morning —in Switzerland we open the presents in the evening of the 24th, not in the morning," she said.
"I think that will be fun — to wake up and [see that] Santa came."
Stuckless said doing these things for Stecher is an important part of this Christmas for her, and that she has a few more surprises in store for her.
"She is somebody's child, and if my child was somewhere, I would certainly hope that they did their best to make her feel at home."