Thanking Your Host Family After the COVID-19 Pandemic
Au Pairs and Host Families have been coming together like never before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have heard wonderful stories of Au Pairs going above and beyond for their Host Families, and Host Families being a huge support to their Au Pairs during this difficult time. Here are some ways for Au Pairs to thank their Host Families now and at any time. You can even use some of these ideas if you don’t know what to get your Host Family for Christmas or other holidays, like birthdays.
Saying Thank You at Any Time
You can thank your Host Family with words any time they do something for you. Keeping open communication and showing appreciation will help keep your relationship positive and moving forward. But how do you give a thank you that will be meaningful and heartfelt?
- Use the person’s name.
- Be specific about what they did that was helpful.
- Say why it was helpful and appreciated.
Example to Host Parent: Amanda, thank you for talking to me every day and asking me how I am doing and how my family back home is doing. I appreciate that you care about how I feel.
Example to Host Kid: Noah, thank you for picking up your toys. I appreciate that you are cleaning up after yourself, it helps keep your room clean.
Unforgettable Cultural Host Family Gift Ideas
Use the biggest aspect of the Au Pair program for gift ideas, cultural exchange. You can share traditions for holidays and special occasions with your Host Family. Think about the traditions and gifts you loved receiving as a child and share those with your Host Family. You can teach your Host Kids how to sing Happy Birthday in your native language or other holiday songs. Let your culture guide you for your gift ideas.
Gifts for Foodies
Who doesn’t love food and trying new things!? Flavors are so different from place to place and your Host Family can learn a lot about you from the foods you love from your home. It is easy to create memories surrounding food and Au Pairs and Host Families love trying foods from each other’s cultures. Share your favorite meal or treats from your home with them.
Make a recipe book of all your favorite recipes from your home country so they can always make them. Or buy a cookbook with recipes from your home to give them.
Pictures Worth Many Memories
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? How about a thousand memories? Give them a photo album with photos from all your memories with them and of your time in the U.S. You can include photos from your favorite vacation, photos you took of the kids, tickets, or brochures from activities you did. This is a great way for them to look back at all of the great memories they had with you.
You can frame or get a canvas of your favorite photo of you with your Host Family for them to put up in their home. Lots of people like to put up photo collages in their home and you can have a permanent place on their wall too as well as their hearts.
The Gift of Words
If your Host Children love to read you can give them a book of fairytales or folklore from your home country or your favorite childhood book. You could record a video of you reading their favorite book so they can watch it even after you have returned home.
You can write them a well thought out letter about how much you appreciate them and the memories you made as an Au Pair with them. Write them a poem expressing your gratitude and what they mean to you. Or make them a video of you expressing your gratitude.
Other Creative Ideas
If your Host Family likes to garden or likes plants you can give a plant that they can keep and think of you each time they water it and take care of it.
Create a memory jar and write down your memories or things you are grateful for on small pieces of paper and put them in the jar. Each time they are missing you they can read them.
If your Host Family has a favorite sports team you can get them a gift featuring the team’s logo. Or if you are artsy you can craft something for them featuring the team and players they love.
You can get them a new board game or card game to try if you and your Host Family love playing games together. Or give them and teach them a game that you love to play with your family back home.
Always Give From Your Heart
These are all good gifts to give a Host Family and you don’t need to break the bank buying gifts, get creative and think outside the box. No matter what gift you choose to give it should always come from your heart. Gifts from the heart are always the most meaningful and your Host Family will cherish it and the memories of their time with you forever.