Yes, it is still October, but it certainly isn’t too early to be holiday shopping for your favorite family genealogists.
The pandemic has brought many more online shopping options to us. Not only can we order and have items shipped directly home, but shopping online from local businesses usually offer curbside pickup, which adds an additional layer of convenience to holiday gift purchases.
It is likely that in-person genealogy visits of most kinds won’t be happening even in early 2021. Genealogists are fortunate that their
hobby obsession can be fruitful right from the comfort of home.
Are you wondering what to buy for the genealogist in your family? Here are a few ideas with wildly varying price points:
- My first suggestion is definitely the easiest – ask the person in question for his/her genealogy wish list! Then you can’t go wrong with your choice this year.
- Books – There isn’t a genealogist alive who doesn’t love books, whether the kind to hold in our very own two hands or the downloadable type. If you are thinking about buying a book, refer to my Suggestion #1 to be sure the book isn’t already in the home library and that it is a book he/she would want. If you really want to surprise your family member with an unexpected book and he/she enjoys stories of a person’s journey to learn about their heritage, consider one of these newly published non-fiction books about their personal family journeys:
Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins ($14.99 on Kindle, $26.11 hardcover)
The Other Side of Absence by Betty O’Neill ($11.99 on Kindle, $38.51 for paperback)
3. Give a gift certificate for archival supplies. Those fragile and irreplaceable family photos and documents must be preserved for the next generations. University Products and Gaylord Archival both offer museum-quality products.
3. Order a custom family tree name word cloud coffee mug ($19) so the family historian can enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate while they work.
4. Many researchers, and their family members, can enjoy a large, customized 5-Generation Family Tree Chart ($139-$256). Don’t wait to get your order in to be sure to have it in time.
5. A researcher can never have too many back ups. I personally use 2 cloud services in addition to 2 external hard drives plus flash drives. No one wants to see the computer crash before their eyes and worry that months or years of hard work is lost. Check out the Seagate Portable 1TB External Hard Drive HDD – USB 3.0 for PC, Mac, PS4, & Xbox, 1-year Rescue Service (STGX1000400) ($47.99 on Amazon)
6. Even genealogy researchers take time to relax now and then. What do they like to do? Well, read about genealogy, for one thing. Gift a magazine subscription to Family Tree Magazine ($32) or Internet Genealogy $25.95 for print, $15.95 for PDF edition)
7. Future generations are not going to enjoy the old vintage photos that have been passed down to us in paper form because most of us use digital versions of cameras to take pictures. However, statistics show that most people have no idea what photos are stored on their phones and/or in the cloud. Ask your gift recipient about his/her favorite photos. Then use Chatbooks to create prints, cards and/or photo books of those pictures. Thanks to my friend, Elizabeth O’Neal, for explaining the options and pricing for Chatbooks products.
8. Membership to a local genealogical or historical society where you live or located in the ancestral home of someone in your family tree. The cost varies, but most often in the $20-$50/year range. Which society membership to choose? Refer, once again, to my Suggestion #1!
9. With all the online webinars, seminars and other genealogical learning opportunities while at home, a good set of headphones are a must. I’ve used Microsoft LifeChat LX3000 Headset, available on Amazon ($38.95) for the last five years and am very happy with them.
10. Genealogy educational opportunities abound online. A one month subscription to Legacy Family Tree Webinars is available for $9.95, which provides access to hundreds of recorded webinars plus all the accompanying handouts. There are even webinars in the library which can only be viewed by members. A year long subscription is available for $49.95. At the other end of the spectrum are the 7-week Genealogical Principles class ($995) and the 15-week Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research ($2695), both offered online. In between those extreme price ranges are many national and state level societies that are possibly offering their conferences virtually once again in 2021. One can’t go wrong with a Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscription, but for anything more expensive than that, I strongly recommend my usual refer to Suggestion #1 to be sure to make your family genie very happy.
Last, but not least – I couldn’t resist one COVID-19 related item. If your family member needs to be out and about with his/her mask, there are many genealogy-related options available:
Megan Smolenyak’s weekly Genealogy Roundup includes links to many very cute genealogy-related masks, which will likely remain an important fashion accessory for some months ahead. There are ethnic themes, DNA-related, flags and much more.
DISCLAIMER: I have received no material consideration at all from any of the companies offering products in my 2020 holiday shopping list. I just thought they’d make nice presents for someone special.