Yes, I did say New Year! What I really mean is, this year has already flown, unless you are a child, and even then, time can fly! With the holiday season barreling down on us, how can your Au Pair simplify this crazy time of year and really help make it the beautiful season of love and friendship? I am here to help, with some great ideas of my own, and some from expert blogger Summer Blackhurst: Five Tips to Keep Ahead of the Holidays
I live by the calendar year round, but at this time of year, it is important to schedule your events and write them in a place where you can see them all at once. Just as important as this time of year is scheduling some time for just nothing, down time when you can sit and talk or just have some family time. Maybe plan a family game night, not one that lasts five hours, but a time set aside after dinner some night for an hour of just time together. Include your Au Pair in this family time, as he or she is an extended member of your family while they are here. Keep in mind, their family is thousands of miles away, and this can be a time of homesickness, even if it hasn’t been an issue yet.
Spending some time with the children seems like an obvious thing to do during the holidays, but sometimes we get so caught up in providing some big traditional family memory or event that we forget to just sit with the kids and listen to them. Spend a few minutes with a coloring book and crayons on the floor with your kids. Try to do something individually, if you have more than one child or kids of very different interests. You will be surprised how relaxing it is and your child will be thrilled with the extra attention. Make an effort to model for your Au Pair that, even though the holidays can be a hectic time, making time to spend individually with each child remains a priority.
While your Au Pair may be making some special gifts for you with your children, perhaps your children could prepare a special gift for your Au Pair. Photos in special frames are very nice, as are hand-written letters or poems, just to name a few.
Here is one that Go Au Pair helped make for one special Host Family and Au Pair:
Another very special idea for this time of year is your Au Pair’s family. I am not asking you to add a dozen more people to your holiday shopping list. What I am asking you to consider the fact that your Au Pair is someone’s daughter. Perhaps a photo of your Au Pair with a letter from you would be a most thoughtful gift any Au Pair’s parent would love to receive from the Parents hosting their own child so far away.
Do spend some time doing something traditional. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride in Chepachet, RI or stroll the streets of Wickford Village for just the right gift. Just because it isn’t summer, don’t forget that Newport is still beautiful this time of year. Since we haven’t had snow yet, maybe you want to go out and tag your Christmas tree! It’s going to be warm enough this week to go claim the perfect tree before anyone gets out there at Big John Leyden’s Tree Farm – they are having their grand opening in West Greenwich at 9am this Saturday! Go have some hot cocoa, ring the bell on the firetruck and take a picture with the 20 foot tall Santa! Include your Au Pair, of course, and have him or her share a tradition from their home country. You may find yourself with some new traditions of your own!
Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the season, and if you don’t have an Au Pair yet, contact me right away or go online and apply today! My name is Joan Lowell and I am the Local Area Representative for Go Au Pair in the Providence, RI area. Be sure to ask me about our local area discount for new Host Families, to save even more!