Holidays

What Do Au Pair Host Moms Want for Christmas?

by cv harquail December 10, 2017
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For Au Pairs in Host Families who celebrate Christmas… “What do you want for Christmas?” I’m never able to answer that question. Some years I remember to keep a running list of things I want (e.g.,  sports headbands, a black-ish pair of outdoor running shoes, a pair of Uggs to replace the ones with holes in them, […]

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Religious Au Pair Doesn’t Celebrate Holidays. Would you still consider her?

by cv harquail July 22, 2017
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Celebrating American holidays with your au pair or host family is one of the biggest (and most fun) elements of cultural exchange. Holidays are a unique window into culture. The traditions, the food, the festive spirit all invite us to talk about the values behind the celebration. On the more personal, less ‘cultural’ level, holidays […]

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Halloween Fun for Au Pairs and Host Kids

by cv harquail October 30, 2015
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Every holiday gives your kids and your au pair a chance to work together, have fun and build memories with holiday-related crafts and activities. Cultural sharing and just plain ‘ole relationship-building happens in the doing of things. Given that Halloween is one of the trio of secular, nation wide cultural holidays (the other two being Thanksgiving and […]

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Create a Holiday Tradition– Just for your Au Pair

by cv harquail December 10, 2014
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You were wondering when I’d start the holiday posts … and here’s the first one! When new people enter our families, a great way to welcome them is to include them explicitly in our family holiday celebrations. Efforts like: Creating a Christmas stocking for your au pair to hang along with the kids’, Getting an additional […]

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Au Pair Host Family Fun for Thanksgiving

by cv harquail November 10, 2014
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20 Fun Things You Can Do with Family on Thanksgiving Hi Host moms—  I found this great list of ideas for Thanksgiving on the DumbLittleMan Tips for Life blog. It’s such a great list that there is no way to summarize it and do it justice, so I’m excerpting it in large chunks… but if […]

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Labor Day: An American Celebration of Workers

by cv harquail August 29, 2014
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American Culture is on my mind today.   Of the three big distinctions between Au Pair childcare and other childcare, the idea of cultural exchange often takes a back seat.  One reason for ‘culture’ receding in to the background is that we regularly experience cultural differences and cultural exchange at the interpersonal level. Cultural exchange […]

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Thanksgiving Is Not A Spectator Sport: How Will You Involve Your Au Pair?

by cv harquail November 23, 2013
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Thanksgiving is a time when all Host Parents find that they need to get into the ‘Cultural Exchange’ mode.  You can’t just plant yourself on Grandad’s Barcolounger hogging the remote, expect everything to unfold the usual way.  And, you can’t expect that your au pair will feel as comfortable as this kitty (left) if her/his […]

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On Valentine’s Day, Give Your Au Pair a Heart Attack

by cv harquail February 12, 2013
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  What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Au Pair? My girls just finished decorating our kitchen for Valentine’s Day-– some shiny hearts, a glittery “I Love You” sign, and a few foil garlands. Tomorrow I’ll put up the heart-shaped wreath with the tiny lights, then the special valentine that Petal made […]

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Pinning Your Hopes on a Happy Holiday: Gift Ideas from APIA’s Christine Connally

by cv harquail December 22, 2012
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There are several concessions that I have to make regarding online tools so that I can actually get my behind and my attention out from in front of my computer. With work that requires reading, writing, editing and analyzing data, and hobbies that invite reading, writing, surfing and rabbit holes, there are things to which […]

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Au Pair Gifts That Are Easy To Pack – From NoVA Twin Mom

by cv harquail November 28, 2012
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NoVA Twin Mom lives in the DC Suburbs with DH and twin 2 year olds and an Au Pair.  She writes:  “Our first au pair left in mid-January, so we were very aware that anything she acquired in December had to be lightweight and easy to pack! These are some of the gifts that have […]

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