Tick-tock, tick-tock. There are only 10 more days until Christmas, and 12 more days until Kwanzaa. Many of you may be wondering what to get your genealogy family and friends for the holidays this year. Or perhaps your family wants to know what to get for you. Earlier this week we gave you some creative ideas for gift giving. Check out these five additional ideas for something different in gift giving this holiday season.
1. Gift Certificate to Powell’s Books
It is easy to go to Amazon.com and buy the latest publications on a topic. But sometimes one wants to find a little-known older work. While many very old works are available online, the text of books that are still protected by copyright are not easily accessible that way. Based in Portland, Oregon, Powell’s Books is a great resource for used books. I have found many treasures there both in walking through the stacks of their brick-and-mortar stores and on the Powells.com website. As a plus, they sell new books as well, so a gift certificate there will go a long way.
2. Conference Registration
Education is important for genealogists. Every time you find new ancestors in a different location, you have to start from scratch, learning how to research in that area. One of the best way to learn is to attend seminars and conferences with your fellow genealogists. Giving a registration to one of these educational events is a great holiday gift. It can be to a one-day regional or state event, or one of the multi-day national conferences sponsored by the National Genealogical Society or the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
3. Pictures from Home
Travelling to ancestral homelands can be difficult to schedule and costly. One way around this is to hire a photographer near where your ancestors lived. Hire them to visit your ancestral village to take photographs of the church, town square, ancestral home, etc. The cost can be a lot less than travelling there yourself. Be certain to get references for people whom you have not worked with before.
4. Donate to a Genealogical/Historical Society
Local historical and genealogical societies never have enough money. Make a donation to one of these groups in a location that is of interest to your genealogist. Even the smallest of donations can go a long way to help them. And, since most of these organizations are non-profit, you get a tax deduction for your donation as well.
5. Horses, Cows, Sheep, Lambs, or Fund a Business
I have a friend who gives gifts through Heifer International. This organization has been working for 70 years to help those in need to end hunger and poverty around the world. Pick an ancestor. If your recipient had one who was a farmer, you can purchase livestock in his/her name. Everything from a single share of a sheep, to an entire ark full of animals. Or, in honor of an ancestor who was a merchant, you could help fund a small business to empower women in need. Were there carpenters or laborers in the family’s past? Help a family get roofing materials, bricks, concrete, and other building supplies to build strong homes. Give a gift through Heifer in honor of your genealogist’s ancestors, and make a difference in the world.