Holidays

Halloween Activities for Au Pairs and Kids

by cv harquail October 27, 2012
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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-buidling happens in the doing of things. Given that Halloween is one of the trio of secular, nation wide cultural holidays (the other two being […]

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Top Holiday Gifts for Au Pairs

by cv harquail December 15, 2011
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By way of LCC Sandra Cody Gwinn comes a terrific list of the “Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Au Pairs”, by Cultural Care’s Stephanie Reuter. Stephanie’s list is a great summary of lots of the advice you host moms have shared here and elsewhere, with her own personal twist of specific suggestions and links! If […]

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Holiday Gift: For her or you?

by cv harquail December 13, 2011
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I ran into one of my friends while shopping at Williams-Sonoma this afternoon. I was supposed to be getting a Christmas gift for my BIL, but instead my arms were loaded with stuff to upgrade my own kitchen. What can I say? I really needed some pinecone place card holders… But I digress. My friend […]

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Will your au pair be on duty this Christmas?

by cv harquail December 9, 2011
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What will your au pair be doing this Christmas day?     If you have asked your au pair to be on duty and work during part of Christmas Eve & Christmas day, how did you present this plan to him or her? Did you discuss it during matching, or months ago, or just this […]

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Holiday Gift Ideas: What could an Au Pair give to an ‘Host’ Uncle? Housekeeper?

by cv harquail December 4, 2011
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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 […]

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Christmas Gift Ideas: From Au Pair to Host Family

by cv harquail December 1, 2011
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It’s time for little elves to get busy, making things to capture memories. Writes an LCC — I’m a counselor for a small group of au pairs and at our last meeting the question about Christmas gifts for host parents came up. They all want to give something meaningful, they understand that in most cases […]

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Family Invitations: Should your Au Pair be included?

by cv harquail July 27, 2011
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How do other people see your au pair? When you tell them that she or he should be treated as “part of the family”, what do your think that means to them? Grandparents, next door neighbors, teachers, and mail carriers all have their own ideas about whether, when, and how an au pair is or […]

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Our Au Pair Doesn’t Understand How Her Actions Affect Our Family

by cv harquail November 21, 2010
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A regular reader sent me a long email about traveling with her Au Pair over the Christmas holiday. This reader is one of those very experienced, very thoughtful host moms who takes pains to see all sides of a situation, before doing her very best to be clear, constructive, and kind when she interacts with […]

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What’s the most “American” thing you’ve had to explain to your au pair?

by cv harquail July 2, 2010
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4th of July is one of my favorite holidays… all about family, community and abstract patriotic notions. 4th of July is also the holiday when I am most likely to embarrass my children– apparently, as they get older, it is no longer cool to dress up in red, white & blue and cheer wildly at […]

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How to Handle Costs for a Ski Vacation: Who should pay for what?

by cv harquail February 5, 2010
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When a host family takes their au pair with them to work during part of the vacation, what should they provide for her during her off-duty time? Especially, what should you provide on a ski vacation, where costs are relatively high and your au pair can’t afford to pay for her own skiing? A European […]

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