It's a key question at this time of year: How do you want to spend your Christmas?
Certainly you're not alone in wondering about this. It's on the minds of many au pairs right now. Some are looking forward to Christmas full of happy anticipation. Some are feeling a little bit worried about maybe feeling homesick and unhappy. Some haven't made any plans at all. And the coronavirus is also a factor that everyone needs to keep an eye on.
The good news - there are lots of great options, which will certainly make it possible for you to have a wonderful Christmastime!
Christmas 2021 and corona pandemic
In comparison to a year ago, there is more flexibility and freedom for travel and celebration than there was in most countries in 2020. With increasing levels of vaccination, corona has become less threatening and lockdowns are much more seldom, giving everyone more options.
Nonetheless, it will be important to talk openly and to plan early with your host family and also with your own family about the upcoming holiday season. There has been a lot of progress since year, but the pandemic is not finished yet. Open and sincere communication about your own wishes and everyone else's is an important first step to a great (and safe) celebration.
Video: How to spend your Christmas as an au pair
Find out in our 5-minute long video how to spend this Christmas as an au pair during the pandemic
HOW TO SPEND YOUR CHRISTMAS AS AN AU PAIR – coronavirus edition | AuPairWorld
Your Christmas options:
Christmas at home
One way to celebrate Christmas is just like always – at home together with your family. For au pairs from Europe who have stayed in Europe, this offers a nice and relatively simple opportunity to be with your family after some time away. A special option might be to make a surprise a visit –tears of joy a guaranteed part of the package. How ever you decide to manage it, your family will certainly be happy and excited to see you again. You'll have lots of stories to tell and photos to show of your experiences.
The only hard part might be leaving after the special days together. But if you think how many great experiences you can expect to have in the coming months, heading back to your host country shouldn't be too hard. And the next visit home is not so far away.
Travel restrictions are much more relaxed than a year ago, but it still is necessary to check in advance if there are testing or even quarantine requirements for crossing borders or other special rules that you need to follow.
Talk to your current host family if you
really do wish to visit your family and discuss what it will involve in terms of quarantine, Covid tests, etc. There are many factors to take into account. Maybe it could be better for you to stay with your host country and celebrate Christmas in a different (and also special) way?
Have a special Christmas with your host family
The cheapest, simplest and the safest possibility is to celebrate Christmas together with your host family. This option can also be the most exciting and unique, even though you don't need to be spending anything extra on travel or having the stress of arranging a journey.
How often is it that you get the chance to celebrate Christmas in a foreign country with a local family? You'll be experiencing new traditions and customs and can bring your own into the mix. Christmas is a special time of connecting and spending it with your host family will help you to become a real part of your second family. You'll be sure to get to know each other better and probably won't be thinking too much about your family at home or feeling too homesick.
Don't forget: Talk with your host family in advance what will count as free time and what will count as working time during this period.
Experience something completely new at Christmas
Or maybe you want to do something totally different for your Christmas celebration? You could travel with some au pair friends to a destination in your host country where you've never been before but always wanted to visit!
Think of it as a special adventure – maybe without a Christmas tree, lots of presents or a traditional Christmas dinner. But instead a chance to gather new experiences with new friends at a special and unfamiliar destination. Do you want to go for a swim in the sea, make a meal together or perhaps do nothing at all? The possibilities are wide open for you to decide.
What will be possible this Christmas?
If you do go for this option, t probably will be simpler to travel within your host country. Depending on the local situation, you might be able to plan a special evening out with your friends. And there are other possibilities as well: What about renting an apartment or a cottage with some au pair friends? Watching Netflix, drinking some wine and just chilling out together could be a perfect plan.
Whatever you finally choose – Christmas with friends, with your host family or with your family at home: AuPairWorld sends very best holiday wishes to you for a wonderful Christmastime!