Hawthorn forward Tahlia Fellows had one of the best Christmases she’s ever had, but it wasn’t spent in Australia.

Instead, the 24-year-old travelled to the Philippines to spend eight days with appreciative locals who would soon become lifelong friends. 

Throughout the trip, Fellows stayed with a family in their province (also known as a village) and did things like playing ball games, singing and dancing. 

Those ball games of course included Aussie Rules, and while the locals had no idea what the sport was at the start of the trip, by the end of the trip, they were obsessed. 

While all eight days in the Philippines were memorable, it was Christmas Day that provided the highlight of the experience for Fellows. 

“We did a big cook-up for people doing it tough and gifted school supplies and toys to give to them which they absolutely loved,” she said.

“But what they gifted back to us in return with their outlook on life and beautiful souls was more than we could ever gift.

“It was such a wholesome Christmas and one of the best Christmases I’ve ever had.”

Reflecting on the trip, Fellows was left feeling even more grateful for her life in Australia.

“Honestly, I just feel like we are so blessed in Australia,” Fellows said

“It was so eye-opening. It kind of brings you back down to Earth about how privileged and blessed we are to have basic necessities and to not take things for granted."