With Christmas approaching, it is time to start thinking about what you are going to get your loved ones for the holidays. A lot of people are on budgets these days, and you may be one of them. But, whether you are or not, you can still give your loved ones a spectacular Christmas for little to no money. All you have to do is look into your genealogy research. There are Christmas gifts galore hiding in there. All you need is a little creativity to bring them to life. Here are five genealogy-themed Christmas gifts your relatives will love.
1. A Family Tree Chart with Photos
There are all kinds of family tree charts you can use for free located online. You can also buy fancy ones from genealogical societies. Your family tree software may even make different kinds and you can print them out on your computer. Use a type that has room to put a person’s name, birth and death dates (marriage dates are nice, too, if there’s space), and a photo. Using photos, you may only be able to go back three or four generations. However, if you are creative and can tape two or four family tree charts together in a configuration that makes them look like one, you can go back farther in time.
Either print the photos and information directly on the tree, or tape the photos on and write the information in, depending on what your printer and program can do. Put the chart in a frame, and you have a beautiful heirloom gift anyone in your family will love and treasure.
2. An Ancestor Photo Cube
You can get a plastic photo cube at most craft stores. Use it as an anytime decoration or put a hook in it and use it as a Christmas tree ornament. The cube has six sides. Put a photo of each set of your grandparents on opposite sides. The other four sides can be used for photos of your great-grandparents, since you have four sets of those. If you don’t have photos of one or more sets of great-grandparents, use photos of great-great grandparents, or siblings of your grandparents and/or great-grandparents. Be sure to label each photo on the cube.
3. A Family History Book
You can buy books where you can add your family history details on a person-by-person basis. Paste in a photo if you have one, and write down all the statistics and personal details and stories you know about that person. Use one branch of your family and give copies of the book to each person with a connection to that branch.
4. The Gift of Research
Put together a family history of a line that isn’t yours. This could be the line from the other side of a cousin’s family tree, for example, or the genealogy of an aunt or uncle who is only related to you by marriage. They will love it, and love you for doing this special thing for them.
5. A Family History Video
Put a photo montage together of one particular branch of your family, starting with the oldest photos you have, up to the present generation. Use photo editing or montage software to space how many seconds you want each photo to show in your video. Put a meaningful song behind it all, and time the photos so the last one shows just as the song is ending. Burn it to DVD, put it in a jewel case with a nice homemade cover that indicates what it is, and give it to all members of the family with a link to that line.
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!)