The holidays are here and while you’re used to shopping for your partner, kids, and friends, it could be your first time deciphering what to get for your au pair! Gift giving and receiving gifts is a common love language but there’s no need to stress over finding that perfect present. The options for what to give your au pair this month are endless. We’ve broken it down into three gift categories: sentimental keepsakes, practical presents, and quirky treasures.
Nothing shows your au pair that you value her more than a family portrait with her in it. Choose your favorite picture together and gift it to her as a framed image, on a coffee mug or even as a pillow case. In addition to her present, print and frame the photo, then hang it together in your house. She’ll feel happy knowing that it’s there, even after her au pair year ends.
Other sentimental gift ideas include a souvenir from an activity that you did together, a handmade card from the kids or her favorite American candy in her stocking. When your au pair is out of the house, have a secret family meeting and see what you can come up with to surprise her!
Your au pair packed up her life in a few suitcases and came to live in another country so there’s no doubt that she’ll be in need of some practical gifts. Does your au pair love to travel within the USA? Buy her a great pair of headphones. Has she been eyeing the local gym but decided it was out of her budget? Consider getting her an annual membership. And of course, nothing beats a gift card to her favorite stores.
Think about a present that will make your au pair's life easier, then go for it! Try not to get her anything too bulky or heavy since she has to bring it home with her at the end of her au pair year.
By now, you know your au pair’s unique personality and that’s where quirky gifts come in. Maybe you spotted a coffee tumbler with a funny saying on it that you know will make her laugh. Or you found a t-shirt with an inside joke that the two of you share. These types of presents make amazing stocking stuffers! You can also give her a special ornament that she can hang on your tree and then take home with her to use for years to come.
Don’t forget, Millennials also love to receive experiences as gifts instead of traditional presents. Fun ideas include bowling, a paint night, or even a hot air balloon ride- the sky's the limit here (no pun intended!).
At the end of the day, your au pair will appreciate the gesture from your family as much as she appreciates the present itself. Happy gifting!
Joy is a huge advocate for cultural exchange. She's lived across the USA, then moved overseas to London and Sydney. She currently resides in Jakarta, Indonesia, giving her a unique perspective on working and thriving in a culture not her own. Joy graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Marketing and started her career in the au pair industry. She works on the blog and social media for the Au Pair USA program.