I’m so impressed that there are still 19, 22, or 29 shopping days left (depending on the holiday you celebrate), but many of you are already getting organized!
Right about when I posted the call for general gift ideas, we received this email from Au Pair MMC.
Her gift-giving situation adds four challenges–
- She needs a gift for an extended family member who lives with the host family.
- She needs suggestions for exchanging gifts with a family that is rather formal.
- She wonders what to get the household help (if anything?). And,
- Her family might have high expectations….
Here’s MMC’s email– what ideas can we offer her?
I’m very confused and over-whelmed right now, trying to figure out what gifts to give to the adults in my host family household. In this family’s culture, I’m tiptoeing on the fine line between employee and family member. That’s generally difficult in a country and culture that has a very strict division between the two, as this culture does.
Christmas is coming around soon, and I have no idea what is appropriate or expected of me for gift giving. Of course, I want to get presents for my boys, but I have always felt awkward about buying presents for married or attached men i.e. my host dad. I feel very inexperienced in manners and etiquette in this area.
Also, my host-mom’s brother also lives with us. He’s near my age, and we watch soccer and drink beer together and similar casual activities. I don’t know if I’m expected to get him a present also if I get one for everyone else. We also have household help that I’m very friendly with, but I don’t know if I’m expected to also get something for them.
My family is very kind, but they are a German-Dutch blended family. The German part is a little more formal, but my host dad is Dutch and is more casual. I don’t want to do anything untoward, but I’d like to get everyone presents.
Another problem is my host-family really has a lot of money, and it seems like they have everything they need. I want to get them presents they will enjoy, but I feel like nothing I can get for them will be good enough.
I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!