Tis the season of giving! Having trouble thinking of the perfect gift to give to your Au Pair or your Host Family? Don’t worry – you’re not alone, so we’ve put together a few suggestions to help get your ideas flowing!

 

FOR YOUR AU PAIR

There are a couple things to consider when putting together a gift for your Au pair. The first is that they are a traveler and will be returning by plane to their home country at the end of their stay, so you will want to refrain from anything that will be difficult to transport or take up a lot of space. The second is they are here in part, for a cultural exchange and therefore will greatly appreciate a gift that will benefit their time in Canada. The third consideration to be made, is what type of person is your Au Pair? Take the time to discover their passions/interests and go from there.

For the Adventurous Au Pair

This Au Pair is looking to discover Canada hands on and will enjoy an experience more than anything material. You could keep it simple with tickets to a local game or show they’d enjoy, or go all out with a small trip – if you’re planning on going away for Christmas, surprise them with an activity like skiing or scuba diving that they can enjoy during your stay.

For the Foodie Au Pair

Maybe they’re not all about the eating, but enjoy the preparation too! In this case, a cooking or baking class would be a hit with this Au Pair. Not only will they have fun, but it’s a skill they’ll be able to put to good use while caring for your children and also later on in life.

For the Homebody Au Pair

Does your Au Pair spend a lot of their free time at home? Nothing wrong with that! It means they are comfortable in your house and as part of your family. Why not get them a few things to take their comfort to the next level? Maybe a cute pajama set or silly slippers, your favourite book with a personalized message written inside, or a mug (with photos of your kids) and a selection of tea would go over well.

Other Ideas

If you’re Au Pair doesn’t fit into a specific niche, you could always try one of these classics: a spa day –massages, manicures/pedicures, or facials are always well received, gift cards go over well – especially if you know their favourite shops/restaurants, or if you’re truly at a loss, you can’t go wrong with a personal note and a Christmas bonus! Let them know they are appreciated as the holidays can be a difficult time for Au Pairs.

 

FOR YOUR HOST FAMILY

Because living and traveling abroad can get expensive, odds are you don’t want to spend too much on presents this year. That’s okay! Here are a few ideas of inexpensive yet heartfelt gifts to give to your Host Family.

For your Host Parents

Make a scrapbook of all the fun their kids have had with you. Include pictures, quotes, funny stories, and drawings done by the children. Your host parents will be thrilled with the keepsake and this special memento will show them how much you care. Years from now it will be invaluable, not only to them but to their children as well.

For your Host Kids

Here is a great opportunity to do yourself a favour! Think about gifts that your host kids will enjoy, but will also make it easy for you to care for them: crafts to make together, activity books they can use when you need some quiet time, gifts from your home country that you can use to teach them about your culture, etc. Be sure to double check recommended ages or choking hazards before purchasing a gift for your host kids!

For the whole Family

If you have a specific skill that your Host Family enjoys, utilize it this Christmas! It will be an especially personal gift and it will also save you money. For example, if you are great at cooking/baking, make them something delightful for breakfast on Christmas morning, or a fabulous dessert to go with Christmas dinner!

Other Ideas

None of the above gonna work for you? Maybe try a gift that will bring you together as a family. Board games are a great idea, an activity that everyone will enjoy – you could get them a soccer ball for the whole family to play with when the weather turns, or a movie that you would like to share with them on a family movie night.

You don’t have to break the bank when giving a gift; oftentimes it’s the inexpensive and personal gifts that are the most cherished. Hopefully our suggestions have helped out, or inspired you with a few ideas of your own!

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