The Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia clusters all hosted holiday parties this month. The Annapolis cluster enjoyed a gift exchange and an international cookie swap where all the girls brought a baked good typical to their home country to share. Everyone went home with a bag of cookies from around the world. The Annapolis and Columbia clusters invited a Federal Marshal to attend to speak to the girls about personal safety when going out alone, with friends or when out with the children that have been entrusted to their care. Topics discussed included awareness of their surroundings, how to handle going shopping with children and what to do in case they find themselves to be a victim of a crime. Internet safety tips were discussed as well. The counselors presented the au pairs with a wonderful bright red umbrella with the Au Pair in America logo as our holiday gift to them. The Baltimore cluster had fun displaying their cheerful red umbrellas for the camera. It was a perfect day to hand out umbrellas as the weather was overcast and drizzly on Sunday. The cluster also did a Secret Santa gift exchange. Everyone left with a little gift, and feeling very much in the spirit of the season. We wish all the au pairs, the host families and their beautiful children a blessed and wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.