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. Besides, there's another factor this year to take into account: the coronavirus. We have some ideas and recommendations to share with you, which will be sure to help you have a terrific Christmastime!
Christmas 2020 and Coronavirus
This Christmas will be a challenge for all of us, including au pairs and host families. Maybe your wishes as as an au pair wishes do not match the wishes of your host family, or the other way round. With that in mind, we strongly recommend you to talk openly and sincerely about the different wishes and options of everyone involved. Put yourself in your au pair's or family's shoes for a moment as well and decide together what's the most desirable and the most practical and the safest way of handling things for everybody.
Video: How to spend your Christmas as an au pair – coronavirus edition
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
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 overjoyed 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.
Right now, however, quarantines and risk areas may be a problem if you plan to go back home and visit your family, or even when you return to your host country.
Talk to your current host family if you really wish to visit your family and discuss openly about what it would imply in terms of quarantine, Covid tests, etc. There are many factors to take into account. Maybe it could be better for you to stay in 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 right now 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 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 nothing at all? The possibilities are wide open for you to decide.
What would be possible this Christmas?
Again, planing this year is a unique challenge. If you do go for this option, we would definitely recommend you to travel within your host country. Being realistic, partying or going out does not seem like the right option to choose this year. But 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!