10 November 2013

Give the Gift of Family

The gift-giving time of year is almost upon us, and it is difficult not to get caught up in all the hype and commercialism. This has been a great year for the promotion of learning about one's ancestors, so why not continue this line of thinking by presenting your family members with a genuine family gift? We already know that people who are conversant with their family history are better able to handle the vicissitudes of life, and it only seems logical that we should better educate our families about their ancestors. Our pasts are just as exciting as the ones we see on TV, but sadly, most people don't know that. The more we know about our forebears, the better we understand our "mental" DNA. I am endlessly fascinated by how much more we become like our parents, grandparents, etc., as we get older, so it only makes sense that we should know more about them as people. Another interesting facet is how much alike family members can be who don't live near each other. There are many documented cases of twins who were separated at birth who found each other as adults and share many traits in common that go far beyond the genetic ones. I see it in siblings all the time, yet they live across the country from each other with only marginal contact.

How does one give the gift of family? It is doubtful that we'll be able to publish a complete family history with a picture for every person within the next few weeks, so I suggest that something simpler would be in order. There are always ads in the genealogy magazines for poster-sized, framed pedigree charts, but my thoughts are even simpler. Perhaps the best resource currently available is Pinterest, a Website that has become an online bulletin board for anyone and everyone to be able to post ideas that will undoubtedly be interesting to someone. By going to www.pinterest.com, you can initiate a search for genealogy gifts, family history ideas, etc., and enjoy the offerings that present themselves. People are innately very clever, and I know that you will find ideas that appeal to you. Following are just a few examples:

Ancestor Cards - Instructions from Katrina http://catchthewindow.blogspot.com/2011/09/ancestor-cards-how-i-did-it.html
ANCESTOR CARDS: For those of you who enjoy using your computer to generate cards, or for those of you like to scrapbook, here is a project that can provide endless hours of fun in teaching family members who all these people are. This could be organized in any number of ways depending on what the purpose is.

Stories by Me!: projects, photo blocks, good gift idea for nursery or mother's day
ANCESTOR BLOCKS: Decoupage copies of some pictures onto blocks of wood. Not only would this be fun for the young members of your family, but it is also a great conversation piece.

A photograph for the generations. Great idea!
CAPTURING GENERATIONS: This idea could be done as the same person showing the various stages of his life, or it could be four generations; this has far more impact over the normal snapshot of a 4-generation family line.

SUBWAY ART: This is one of my favorite ideas because you can do it yourself using MS Word, Word Art, on your computer. I did one using family names, and while a bit time-consuming, the end result was well worth it. Print it out on parchment paper, frame it, and you have a great gift.

Let this be the year for the gift of family.

1 comment:

  1. Ooohh ... great post! I like the ancestor cards :-)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.