Sunday, 16 October 2011

Christmas is Coming!

While I do not subscribe to the supermarkets' belief that Christmas decorations and items should be available from September (or their insane idea of Easter eggs and hot cross buns from the first week in January!) there are only 69 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes until Christmas Day. And counting! See Christmas clock for a neat Christmas countdown.

I am not trying to stress anyone but now is the time to start thinking if you are planning any Genealogy Guerrilla Action this year.

Christmas and family gatherings are an ideal time for Genealogy Guerrilla Action, where you can sneak family history into the activity without being obvious and having their eyes glaze over.

Some things I have seen done include:

Ornament by Kimberley Powell
The Christmas tree ornament of the ancestor is an ideal one. Kimberley Powell gives detailed instructions  on making this ornament.


Family recipe books are always useful as you can have a few pages of family information and photos for each recipe. If you don't have too many special family recipes, how about putting in photos of festive occasions and some memories of the food eaten so you have recipes that were used on special family occasions.


The family history book all written up is a dream for many, perhaps for the most getting it done is the impossible dream. However remember the book is made up of people and their stories.

Start small with a family calender with a family photo and short write-up on that photo for each month. In the date portion include some historical family events, date of immigration, wedding, birth, etc.

You could theme the calender eg April for a Gallipoli veteran, November for a World War 1 photo, the appropriate month for the wedding or birth. perhaps the month when you moved into a family home? You are limited only by your imagination. Many family history programs have a "On this Day" feature.

The casually left on the coffee table book, of old family photographs with their stories, is easy to have done using FamilyPhotoBook
Family photo book examples
and of course you win extra points if your relatives ask YOU questions about their family history!

You can also use this to document your holiday or the first year of school. They are more likely to be seen than the photos sitting in an envelope.

Having a display of historical family photos on the wall or TV stand may also get people asking questions. Of course you could always make a slide-show of old photos and places people lived that is showing on the TV itself.

It is not just photos, it could also be family memorabilia Great-Granddad's medals, some old 78 records, a sampler, some carpentry tools, a book that Gladys won for perfect School attendance.

You could buy some plain glass paperweights from the $2 shop and then decoupage (glue) the historical photo underneath and then leave them around. This can also make a neat place card substitute. You can use pictures of the adults when they were children or pictures of their parents etc

Family history information on Christmas cards could also be done as could a bookmark for each family member. A friend a few years ago, had the gift cards and wrapping paper printed with historic photos.

The Christmas newsletter seems to have fallen out of favour a bit, with the advent of social media but you could always sneak in some family information there. 

Of course there is always  the option of a Family History advent countdown on Facebook or on your blog with a picture and a quick write-up of that picture. Remember you can have many blog posts in draft while you are getting ready for the Christmas Advent countdown to start.

So what Genealogy Guerrilla Actions are you planning to  make family history part of the Christmas celebrations this year?

I'd be delighted to hear your ideas.