With Christmas coming up, it is the perfect time to begin thinking about what to get for the genealogist in your life (or for yourself, if you are a genealogist and want to treat yourself well this holiday season). The good news is that there are plenty of excellent gifts for genealogists out there, and many of them are reasonably priced. In fact, there are some gifts for genealogists that are perfect to use as stocking stuffers and will be just as welcome as any large, wrapped gift you could put under the tree.
Here are 20 surprisingly handy stocking stuffers for any genealogist.
- Small picture frames — These can easily be wrapped and stuffed in a stocking. If they are thin enough, you can even stack two or three in there. The perfect size for a wallet photo, or even as big as a 3×5, you can get these cheaply at any craft store.
- Notepads — Genealogists who do fieldwork, such as in cemeteries or archives, need to take a lot of notes, and it is not always convenient to bring a laptop. Providing your genealogist with a supply of small, pocket-sized notepads as a stocking gift is an excellent idea.
- Pencils and Pens — You need something to use to write on the notepads, so a bunch of pencils and/or pens are another excellent stocking stuffer for genealogists. If you want to get super creative, you can even have them engraved with your genealogist’s name, the name of their pet family line, the name of their business, or some other saying you know they will love.
- Family Tree Charts — These can be folded and stuffed in a stocking. Genealogists can use them for working out family trees manually, or for putting together trees to frame as gifts to others. Either way, every genealogist knows there is no such thing as too many family tree charts.
- Family Videos on DVD — Convert old VHS videos to DVD, or transfer videos from your phone or computer to one, and give it as a gift. Genealogists love family videos.
- Miniature Photo Albums — There are photo albums you can get at craft stores that are big enough to hold one standard-sized photograph per page. Because there is only one photograph per page, the albums can be quite small. Small enough to tuck in a Christmas stocking.
- Photo Charm Bracelets — Put tiny photos of the faces of loved ones and/or ancestors into the slots on photo charm bracelets. Female genealogists will likely wear them, and male ones will treasure them as knick-knacks, or give them to their children to teach them about their family history.
- Books on Genealogy — Not every book is tall and thick. There are plenty of very good books out there on genealogy, and even family histories, that are the perfect size to be stocking stuffers. Just make sure you know what your genealogist already has in their library, so you know you are getting them something new.
- Memberships to Genealogy Societies — You might announce their new membership with a magazine put out by that society, a membership card, or simply a printed or handwritten note stating you gave them the membership, and what benefits they can expect from it.
- Memberships to Genealogy Research Websites — Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and other well-known genealogy research websites are extremely useful to genealogists, but also often a bit pricey for an annual membership. Make someone’s Christmas by giving them an annual membership to the site they love most. Even if they already have a membership, your gift will mean they essentially get an additional year’s access for free. Announce the gift the same way you would a genealogy society membership.
- Your Life Story — Even if it is just a few typed pages, the genealogist in your life will love it. Any person’s story is a great one to go in their family tree, and you may be giving them new information they didn’t know about you. It will help you to get to know one another better.
- Genealogy Software — Whether it is a new family tree program, or a program for helping them organize their notes, genealogy software is always a welcome gift to any good genealogist.
- Honor an Ancestor — If your area has any project going where you can dedicate an engraved brick with someone’s name on it and a short inscription (these are often used in building fundraisers), buy one honoring one of your genealogist’s ancestors, and put a certificate indicating it in the stocking.
- Plane Tickets — If your genealogist has been wanting to go to a certain location to do “in the field” genealogy research, but hasn’t been able to afford the trip, getting them plane tickets there and back is a terrific stocking stuffer gift.
- A Customized Door Plate — Get your genealogist a plate with their surname on it to hang on their front door. They will love the personalized touch.
- “I Love Genealogy” or Some Similar Mug — You can get a pre-made mug, or personalize one with a message you know your genealogist will like. Everyone loves a good, personalized mug.
- Old Family Recipe Cards — If you have access to old family recipes that your parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents made, write them down on pretty recipe cards, wrap a rubber band around them, and give them to your genealogist as an awesome family history stocking stuffer gift.
- Visa or MasterCard Gift Certificates — These are simple, easy gifts that your genealogist can use to get the genealogy supplies he or she needs or wants most.
- A Town History — Discover the name and location of a town your genealogist has been studying, where they have many ancestors, and if there is a published town history for that place, get it for them as a gift.
- An Important Antique — Look on eBay using one of your family surnames and the town in which they lived (use quotation marks around words in the search). If any antiques associated with the family in that place are available for sale, such as old town directories, store signs, photographs, postcards, or other memorabilia that actually belonged to the family, grab it, because your genealogist will adore it.
Will Moneymaker founded Ancestral Findings back in 1995. He has been involved in genealogy research for over 20 years. The thrill of the hunt, the adventure, and the excitement begin when he started investigating the meaning of his surname. Why I Love Genealogy (And You Should, Too!)