While the holidays are mostly about spending time with your loved ones, it is also the season of giving back! Finding the perfect gift for the little one(s) is usually an easy enough task. The real question is: what to get for your host parents? We feel you – so we have come up with a selection of some DIY gift ideas, that your host family will appreciate for sure! No matter what you come up with though, you cannot really go wrong: It is the thought that counts, so as long as it comes from your heart, we’re sure your American family will love it!
1. A MEMORY JAR
Isn’t this the cutest thing that you have ever seen? It’s such a simple, but powerful gift! And also something to get the whole family involved as well.
2. PHOTO GIFTS
Photo pictures are always a great gift idea for your host parents, especially if they include the little ones! In this case, the key to success is: don’t get them something that has been done 1,000 times before. So be unique, and try to think outside the box!
3. CHALK BOARDS
Very underrated, but an equally classy and practical gift. Perfect for the kitchen, the living room, the hall way – anywhere really? Chalk boards are a great way to get a sweet message and/or season greeting across. And your host family will even get to re-use it afterwards!
4. PERSONALISED DIY GIFTS
Share something with a story! Personalised gifts are always a classic, and your chance to really show your loved ones how well you know them and how much they mean to you. Some of these ideas make great farewell gifts as well!
5. BOARD GAMES
You’re looking for a gift that the whole family can get involved in? We’ve got two words for you: BOARD GAMES. Pro tip: We all know that Monopoly usually ends with at least one frustrated family member throwing the board off the table – so you might want to go for something a little less competitive!
6. THANK YOU GIFTS
You can never say “Thank You” one too many times. Thank You gifts are not only great for the festive season, but for 365 days a year – and they’re such an easy way to make someone’s day!
7. FAMILY CALENDARS
Calendars might sound like a lame gift at first, BUT bear with us: Not only are they the key to staying on top of things, but they can also be an incredible game changer in terms of the interior design of your host family’s home!
8. CHILDREN’S BOOKS FROM WHEN YOU WERE LITTLE
If your host kids ever get tired of Dr. Seuss & Co., it’s time to introduce some of your own childhood heroes! And in case that even Amazon cannot help you get your hands on an English translation of your favourite kids’ book, you might want to try to just translate it yourself! One of the gifts that you want to get an early start with for sure, but definitely worth the extra effort!
Looking for a little something that will be a part of your host family’s everyday life even after your au pair year has come to an end? Family movie nights, cheeky afternoon naps or random cuddle-craving-attacks: a couch cushion might be just the handy gift that you’re looking for!
10. HOMEMADE TREATS
Go regional! Cultural exchange is not just about adapting to the American lifestyle – but just as much about sharing an important part of your own culture! Introducing recipes from your home country is an easy, but also exotic way to do exactly that. Pro tip for when you’re generally not too keen on cooking and baking: homemade marmalade is super easy to make, and they can be kept for quite a long time without refrigeration – a gift that you can hardly ever go wrong with 😊