For the book worm:
Choosing a gift for a bookworm can be intimidating – but don’t fear! Atlas Obscura is a great gift for anyone interested in the world’s hidden wonders. Or, visit a local bookstore and tell the staff a little about your host parent’s likes and dislikes – they are sure to offer some excellent suggestions. If the house seems too full of books, what about a literary infinity scarf with passages from one of his or her favorite books or a framed poster with the entire text of their favorite book written out into an image from the book?
For the home chef:
If your host mom or dad likes to be in the kitchen, consider a foodie-oriented gift. If they like it spicy, consider a make-you-own hot sauce kit. Or, what about a paella gift set, complete with paella pan, rice, seasoning and olive oil? For wine lovers, a bottle or two of a special wine might be just the right gift. Or, consider a gift certificate for a dinner out, to give the resident chef a well-deserved night off.
For the lover of little luxuries:
Anyone living in a cold or dry climate is sure to love a bouquet of hand cream from L’Occitane. Birchbox has great subscription gift ideas for both men and women, featuring samples of beauty and grooming products. Uniqlo has soft cashmere scarves in a variety of colors. Or, what about a bubble bath set with a card that guarantees no kid-related distractions for at least an hour?
For the frequent traveler:
Some of our professional au pair’s host parents travel frequently for business – so gifts that help make their travel easier are sure to be appreciated. Consider a handy toiletries kit such as this one, or their favorite fragrance in a TSA-compliant rollerball. Or, what about a Kindle or NOOK tablet so they always have a good book to read on a long flight?
For stocking stuffers:
Finally, if you are looking for some fun (and funny!) stocking stuffer ideas, look no farther. First up, wicked witch bookmark legs, from Etsy, for the reader in your family. For the Dr. Who fan in your household, what about a Tardis mug? Are there some science nerds in the family or some sports fans? Consider a science-related T-shirt or one from your host parent's favorite sports team. Getting nostalgic? Consider a buying (or making) an ornament for the Christmas tree to memorialize your holiday together.