The holiday season is here! It’s a time to be merry and bright—and to show your loved ones how much you care about them. A common and thoughtful way to do that is through gift giving. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday, now is the perfect chance to show your host family just how much they mean to you. And to show them how grateful you are for welcoming you into their home and their hearts.
If you want to get gifts for your host family, you should get started thinking of ideas now! There are so many different things you could do to show your host family you love them this holiday season—maybe you bake them something from your home country, or perhaps you buy them something you know they need and really want! Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, a present from their au pair will put big smiles on their faces and help them feel even closer and more special to you.
We asked our au pairs (both current and former!) for some of their best host family gift ideas, and we got a ton of great responses. We’ve collected all their recommendations here into a holiday gift giving guide—we hope it inspires you this holiday season!
Have you ever talked about something that you really want to do with your host parents—or have you heard them talking about something they really want to try? This is the perfect time to make it happen!
Take them to that dinner place they’ve been wanting to try—or get them movie passes for that upcoming film you all want to see!
“This holiday season, I’m buying a movie voucher for my two oldest host kids so we can go and do something all three of us before I go home,” says au pair Tarni Miller. “And for my host parents, a voucher to a restaurant they like. My host family likes experiences overthings, so I’m basing it on that!”
You can highlight your special relationship with your host family by giving them something with pictures of the kids this holiday season! There is almost no limit nowadays for the things you can make with your own pictures. Walgreens and Shutterfly are just two of the many places that make stuff with pictures like mugs, blankets, pillows, etc.
Of course, you can always just collect all your best photos into an album and give that! “I’m thinking about making a photo album of all our pictures together from the year,” says au pair Sianne Turnbull. What better way to keep your memories together alive forever?
Some of the best gifts are the ones made with love—grab the kids and find some Pinterest projects to tackle for your host parents. Maybe a picture frame, some jewelry or even a book with drawings done by the children! If it was made with your own two hands, it’ll be special.
Another idea for something homemade is food! Cook or bake something from your home country that your host family might like to try. Perhaps you can make a traditional dish that your family enjoys around the holidays. It’ll be a way to communicate your love for your host family while also sharing the culture that is important to you.
We’ve heard of au pairs personalizing things from puzzles to wine glasses to socks! This gift idea may take a little bit of planning ahead, though, as personalized websites like Shutterfly or Etsy need time to process and ship your order. If you can make it work, a personalized gift idea is always a great one because it’ll be a special token of your appreciation for them.
Anything you give your host family will be loved—but remember to try and put a little extra thought into your ideas! These people are your second family and your home away from home. You’ll feel good putting extra care into picking the right present for them this year.