Au Pair Gifts To Kids: Katrin’s Book-a-Day Advent Calendar

by cv harquail on December 6, 2012

Host Mom Sandra tells us about a creative, low cost holiday gift idea that combines a clever physical gift with an enduring gift of spirit:

I just wanted to send a quick note about my au pair, Katrin Schwingenschlogl from Austria.

For the Christmas holiday, she developed her own Advent calendar for my children. She took out 25 holiday books from the local library and wrapped them to display.

Each day my children take turns unwrapping and then reading the book. They love it! It’s a great, clever idea whose only cost was wrapping paper and time.

Host Mom Sandra, CT

sandra advent au pair gift.JPG

Karin’s gift idea can be adapted for any family.¬†

  • Since Advent has already begun, you might adapt this idea for another element of Christmas — such as the 12 Days of Christmas (always fun to extend the celebration past Dec. 25th).
  • For Jewish families, this idea can be adapted to Chanukah, with a book each night related to Jewish history and culture.
  • For a secular celebration, you can create a book ¬†count-down and preparation for a Happy New Year.

This Gift Keeps on Giving, Too

What’s deeply special about this gift is the idea that the child/ren not only get to unwrap the gifts but also they get to enjoy the experience of being read to (usually while being cuddled).

The memories and the caring that are created with this kind of experience will last long after the books are returned to the library.


We’d love to hear more about creative, low cost, high memory gifts in your host family! Comment below, or send them on to aupairmom.


WestMom December 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

What a lovely idea!

apnewbie December 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Love it! I’m going to do this one myself.

Taking a Computer Lunch December 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Congratulations – what a creative and pro-active AP!

OCHostfam December 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

This is such a great idea. Some of my best childhood memories come from bedtime stories with my dad. I may need to steal this idea next year.

Posie December 7, 2012 at 2:07 am

Love it! Could also be done in a book exchange or second hand books (our local Goodwill has 50 cent children’s books…majority in great shape!)

Albie December 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

What a great idea. I love it when my au pairs make things for the kids, it is really special. Or even with the kids — one of my au pairs did footprints of the kids on 12×12 paper, then decorated around it and wrote the song words from the “I Love You Forever” book. Was also a great present (for hubby, in that case). I like when our au pairs find creative ways to do gift-related things that don’t cost much or any money!

PA AP Mom December 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

What a fantastic idea!!! very thoughtful!

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