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Make Your Au Pair Feel at Home During the Holidays
The holidays are a time of great joy for families who love indulging in favorite traditions and exchanging gifts. But when you are away from home, as an au pair is, the holidays can also be a difficult time. Your au pair may feel uncertain about joining in family activities as a visitor. They may also miss their own family and feel overwhelmed by the buzz of the holidays.
You can help your au pair feel more at home and alleviate their homesickness by including them in family activities and inviting them to add their own traditions to your holiday schedule. By embracing them and showing what an important part of your family they have become, you will set them at ease.
Things to Do With Your Au Pair During the Holidays
Teach your au pair about your unique holiday traditions. Perhaps you celebrate Hannukah. Explain why you light the menorah and what the annual festival commemorates. If your household celebrates Christmas, invite your au pair to help decorate your Christmas tree.
Give ample notice about holiday events and establish your expectations for your au pair during the holidays. Will she need to help out at holiday parties? Will you give her time off to meet up with friends? Discuss these issues in advance so you are on the same page.
What to Do With My Au Pair This Christmas
Invite your au pair to come up with a special idea for your family for Christmas. What does she do in her country during the holidays that she would like to share? So many countries have their own unique ways to celebrate. By sharing hers with you, she will feel closer to her family back home. Your children also benefit from learning about what people do in other countries to celebrate the holiday. A few ideas include:
- Cooking a traditional Christmas food, such as red cabbage and potatoes from Germany or cod with fried peppers from Italy
- Leaving a sock for Santa Claus to fill by the window — a tradition in several South American countries
- Adding a nativity scene to your decorations, as is popular in France and other European countries
You can also surprise your au pair by learning about their host country and initiating some of their traditions on your own.
How to Comfort My Au Pair at the Holidays
Some sadness during the holidays is natural. Many au pairs have never spent extended time away from their families, and being abroad for the holiday season may increase their homesickness. You can aid your au pair by:
- Eating family meals together and asking your au pair how they are doing
- Including your au pair in family events and parties
- Spending time together pursuing your family traditions and making your au pair a part of them
- Letting your children pick out unique holiday gifts for your au pair
With compassion and understanding, you can help your au pair feel at home this holiday season. Are you interested in finding an au pair to stay with you during the holidays and beyond? Fill out our application form to get started.