Looking for a unique gift this holiday season? How about sharing your genealogy research in a creative way. The number of ideas for family history related gifts is limitless. Whether they are bought or hand-made, big or small, a gift about family history will be a lasting treasure.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions to help you get started:
A family tree chart is a great way to share your family history. They can be made with genealogy software, by downloading a pre-printed chart, by purchasing blank prints or ordering custom made charts. The print and custom options are best for gifts. They look better than most of the charts made from genealogy software and look nice when framed and displayed.
Genealogy Today has a Family Tree Kit at http://store.genealogytoday.com/catalog/Time__Again_-_Family_Tree_Kit.html.
Chatham Hill Games has 16 X 20 Folk Art and Victorian prints for "Our Family Tree" at www.chathamhillgames.com/genealogy.php.
Fun Stuff for Genealogists has a large collection of frameable family trees at www.funstuffforgenealogists.com/store/enter.html under Pedigree Charts and Martha Stewart.com has several family tree projects in the craft section.
Family History Christmas Wreath
Use old photos, beads, broken pieces of jewelry, buttons and glitter to make a beautiful Christmas wreath. There is an instruction video on YouTube for a wreath at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsKWUab5RxA.
This is an economical and easy way to share research. There is special slideshow software that can be purchased or use PowerPoint. Family tree charts, reports, photos, documents, and video are just a few of the items that could be included on the CD or DVD.
Games with a genealogy theme are fun for both the young and the young at heart. Create your own genealogy board game. Instructions found at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com.
GenerationsTM by Genealogy for Fun, Inc. www.genealogy4fun.com sells a family history board game.
Playing Cards with ancestors photos and identifying information can be created and purchased at Memory Makers http://www.heritagemakers.com/shop/?e=viewProductDetail&cid=2&paid=29.
Recipes are an cherished source of family history that is easy to pass along. The recipes could be wrapped with a bright ribbon or placed in a recipe binder or box.
Use family recipes that include memories of the events when the dishes were served and/or memories of the person who passed down the recipe. A resource for this project is at www.heritagecookbook.com.
Family history story and photo books make fantastic gifts. They can be created for the entire family history or just one event or person. Include genealogy charts, family group sheets, photos, documents, maps, family traditions and family stories.
Another book idea is to write your story. Put it in a binder or publish in a book. If you don't have the time to write your entire story, consider doing smaller books about different periods of your life.
A few of the many sources that will help with this writing project are: How to Write Your Own Life Story: The Classic Guide for the Nonprofessional Writer by Lois Daniel and The Book of Myself A Do-It-Yourself Autobiography In 201 Questions by Carl Marshall and David Marshall.
Photographs can make genealogy come alive. Use your digitized heirloom photographs to create gifts for every member of the family. Print on demand publishers have made the process of making these gifts easy and convenient. A few of the major sites to check for these types of gifts are LuLu, Family Heritage Publishers, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Kodak Gallery, My Publisher, and Walmart.
Some examples of photo gifts are: Calendars; Holiday ornaments (to make your own go to http://genealogy.about.com/cs/holidays/p/ornament.htm); jewelry and keychains (a creative spin on this theme is a charm bracelet with individual charms featuringdifferent ancestors); mugs; mouse pads; magnets; and place mats with a photo family tree.
Make one by using photographs and ancestors' names. Help for this project can be found at http://www.genealogyhelpzone.com/quilts.htm.
Have fun with your genealogy and have a happy holiday!