Often when we want to celebrate a milestone with our au pair, our thoughts turn to gifts of things.
We don’t feel embarrassed turning to gift cards and cash, because we know that our au pairs are often saving money for travel or for some special item at Urban Outfitters. We tend to recommend to each other gifts like scrapbooks, kids’ crafts, and sentimental jewelry, because these sorts of gifts seem to help us capture and store memories that we know an au pair will want to return to many years after their time with us.
Yet, if we take seriously the research about what really makes people happy, we recognize that sometimes the things that make us happiest are not gifts of things, but experiences themselves. It’s time spent doing something fun that can create the most happiness for an au pair.
So if a big milestone is coming up for your aupair, what experiences could you create for them or give them to help celebrate?
As AlwaysHopefulHM writes–
I’m looking for ideas for celebrating a milestone… Our current au pair will reach the 6 month mark with us in a few weeks. Things have not been perfect, but he has been a true member of our family, and we’ve been really happy to have him as our au pair. I’d like to do something to commemorate the milestone. Based on our experience with our last au pair (who cringed at money gifts) and my own preference for a more personal show of appreciation, I wasn’t really leaning towards giving a bonus or gift cards, etc. I really would like to think of an activity we could share…either with just the family or with his friends in tow.
Oh, and I’d love to be able to surprise him!
Host Families– how have you celebrated milestones with your au pairs?
Be sure to see this great guest post by HRHM: Give Your Au Pair The Gift of Travel