It’s that time of year again where temperatures go down and twinkle lights go up. This is a special time of year for many families to celebrate important traditions and a great opportunity to share new experiences with your Au Pair. This may be your Au Pair’s first time spending the holidays in North America, away from her family, friends and traditions. To help you get through the holidays with your Au Pair stress-free we have come up with a few tips:
Talk it out.
Schedules fill up fairly quickly once December hits: concerts, work parties or religious involvements, etc. Be mindful that your Au Pair’s schedule may be filling up just as quickly as yours, so do not assume that she can cover all the evenings that you plan on being away. You will both need to be flexible with one another to be sure you can enjoy your holiday celebrations.
To avoid any confusion, take out a pot of tea and a calendar so you can discuss, in detail, your and your Au Pairs plans making sure that you have your child care covered for the holidays. Plus, this will clear the air of any trips she may be planning over the break. She may want to spend Christmas on the beach in Hawaii while you’re stressing over finding another chair to put at the table.
Involve your Au Pair in family traditions.
As previously mentioned, this may be your Au Pair’s first time away from her family for the holidays. While you’re talking about scheduling, ask her how she is feeling about this and if there is anything that you can do to make it an enjoyable holiday season. She may be excited to have a Canadian holiday season or she may be missing out on her mom’s annual cookies. Get into the mindset that if she can’t be with her family, then she can be with her Canadian family.
If your Au Pair is planning on sticking around for the holiday season, be sure to invite her to Grandma’s house for Christmas dinner, or Aunt Sarah’s for Hanukkah, or your annual family skate at the local arena. Be mindful of including her as this opens up new experiences for her that will last a lifetime.
Encourage your Au Pair to share some of her traditions.
Take this unique opportunity to learn about new traditions and encourage your Au Pair to share some that are important to her. Your kids could learn a new Christmas song, or make a really delicious lebkuchen! Ask her questions about her favourite traditions and find a way to incorporate them into your own. Who knows, maybe they will become a part of your own family’s traditions for years to come.
Help her to acclimatize.
The holidays are the gateway to winter, so for someone who has not experienced a Canadian winter (I’m not looking at you Vancouver!) then it’s important to help your Au Pair to adjust for what’s to come. You could encourage your Au Pair to go out and get a nice pair of mitts and toque, or even include this as part of her gift. This is a gentle way of saying, “Happy Holidays and welcome to Canadian winter!” If you do live on the west coast, perhaps some vitamin D and an umbrella will help for her to prepare for winter! Remember, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
If you have any questions about what has been discussed above, feel free to contact us at 519-803-3628.