With the holidays around the corner and the zingers of 2020 impeding the typical holiday shopping spree, I’m providing my guide early this year to insure the shopper stays safe and the receiver gets the gift on time.
Most of these items can be purchased locally so do try to support your small businesses and organizations. Others can be purchased online but please buy soon so that the chain of folks that helps you get the item aren’t stressed even more than they already are. Let’s show some gratitude we’ve survived this wretched year and spread the kindness!
My gift guide includes items for a few dollars and up into the hundreds as I understand it’s been a tough year financially for just about all of us. As my mom used to say, “It’s the thought that counts.”
1. A comfortable desk chair – Hubby and I purchased two in May as we were spending so much time in ours and mine refused to let me adjust the height. We had it delivered and assembled ourselves but if that’s not an option use NextDooor to find a local handyperson who can do the assembly on the porch. Your genealogist’s back will thank you.
2. A Second Computer Screen – If your genealogist is using only one screen it’s time to add another; I’ve had two for years but I honestly could benefit from more. Sometimes I put the laptop next to my work area for a 3rd view when needed. Sure, we know how to change the size of what we’re viewing but with old documents, sometimes we just need the whole screen. Your genealogist’s eyes will thank you!
3. A Magnifying Glass – If the To Do list includes going through boxes of old family letters or photos, a magnifying glass, with or without a light, is a must. Think Sherlock Holmes, here – the smallest clue might be missed that could solve the mystery so an inexpensive magnifying glass might just save the day.
4. Assorted Coffee/Teas or a reusable water bottle – whatever is the preferred non-alcoholic drink is a well received gift for anyone but especially the genealogist who needs a quick caffeine jolt or calming tea. I stress the non-alcoholic for a reason – your genealogist needs clear analytical reasoning so skip the booze. A reusable water bottle with a tight fitting lid is also a great idea to stay hydrated without risking a spill.
5. A foot massager – which can fit nicely under the work area. If it has a heat feature it makes it even better on those long cold winter nights of researching.
6. An elliptical for sitting – When in the researching zone, we often forget to get up and move. This handy exercise device allows for individuals to sit and move the lower legs. I love to see how many “miles” I’ve gone without leaving my desk. If your genealogist has a standing desk, the device still works. Until we’re able to go back to running up archive stairs or parking in remote and walking to the library, the sitting elliptical will get a lot of use.
7. Gift Cards – to your genealogist’s local restaurant, grocery or office supply store. If you aren’t sure what your favorite genealogist’s office needs are, know they have to eat! Less time cooking means more time researching and you’re supporting the local economy which makes this a win-win for all.
8. An annual subscription to a new site – This year I joined Academia.edu and I absolutely love it! I was trying to research Barbados in the 1600’s and there isn’t many records that I found useful. I wanted to better understand what life was like there and Academia.edu helped me with that goal. Journal articles are available on a wide range of topics and the site also hosts members to have a webpage so others can connect with them. JSTOR.org is another awesome site that provides journal articles and books that may be of interest. Plans start at $19.50.
9. Donation to a local genealogy/history society – with long term closures and the deaths of members, many organizations are suffering. If your genealogist says – “Don’t get me anything!” then follow their directive but give in their name to an organization that they support. Typically, I’m a doer and not a donator but this year I have given to several organizations that I wasn’t able to support in person.
10. Last but not least – Give the recipient time by listening. I’m serious. Although this monetarily costs nothing it is probably the most valuable gift that can be given. We know you could care less about your fourth cousin twice removed who married your third cousin once removed. Just try to look like you care. Back in the day when the world was “normal” we could attend conferences and meetings to share with others the great discoveries we made. Simply listening is a wonderful gift to give!