Every family celebrates the holidays a little differently, but every country and culture celebrates them in even more unique ways.
Au Pairs are here not only for childcare but also for cultural exchange, and the holidays are the perfect time to learn about each other’s cultural way to celebrate the holidays.
At my December cluster meeting through InterExchange Au Pair USA, I wanted to show the au pairs how many New Yorkers celebrate the holidays and took them all on a tour to see the holiday window displays at Macy’s and many department stores in NYC and then on to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. This is one of my favorite events. I love seeing these displays and holiday traditions through their eyes. Many of them have only heard of these things or maybe have seen them in a movie. To see them in person is awe-inspiring and for many a dream come true.
This year I asked them all to talk about what was special about celebrating this holiday season with their new host families. Several of the au pairs are with a family of differing religion than theirs, so celebrating a new religious holiday was quite an education and created very special and unique memories. I loved hearing them tell how their host children explained the new holiday and about the family traditions. Many also talked about Thanksgiving and how amazing it was to celebrate a truly American holiday. Obviously this is not celebrated in other countries.
It always makes me laugh to hear them talk about some truly American traditions – our Elf on the Shelf and the size of our holidays from meals to decorations to presents. We definitely know how to supersize it all here.
Yet a truly amazing part is when the au pairs talk about sharing their holiday traditions from home with their host family, ranging from cooking a traditional meal to other smaller holiday traditions. This is the peak of cultural exchange and the true meaning of the au pair program.
Experience the au pair program for yourself – host an au pair through InterExchange Au Pair USA.