It’s hard to connect to the peace of Christmas when you’re still shopping, holding out for Christmas gifts that matter. Here’s my list of last-minute ideas for busy family storytellers and historians. (See also 7 Ideas for Giving Gifts that Matter.)
Luckily, there’s still time to get them.
Note: This post does NOT contain affiliate links—just things I happen to like.
Storyworth Subscriptions top my list because they give to the recipient as well as the giver. And they keep giving. Here’s how it works:
Each week Storyworth sends your loved one a memory prompt—often a question you never thought to ask. They reply to the prompt via email or phone. At the end of the year, Storyworth binds all the stories into a beautiful keepsake book. (Current price is $59.)
Knowing their Ancestry: Christmas Gifts that Matters
Have loved ones that wonder about their ancestry? You might have already thought of giving them a subscription to Ancestry.com, Findmypast.com, or MyHeritage. You’ve probably also considered giving a DNA kit.
Those are great ideas, but you can also gift professional research services! The Association of Professional Genealogists directory lists researchers by location, geographic specialty, or other area of expertise. Some, like Cheri Passey of Carolina Genealogy, has gift certificates on their websites. However, most will be willing to work out an email gift certificate. Just give them a call.
Adobe Lightroom Subscription
Have a family photographer on your list? If so, a subscription to Adobe’s LightRoom might help them get the most out of their efforts and preserve precious moments for prosperity.
The $9.99/month photographer’s package is on my wishlist this year after speaking to my professional photographer cousin. Though it offers cloud features, if you prefer keeping all your images on local hard drives, you don’t have to use them. (But DO back up your storage somewhere, even a couple of somewheres.)
Give a Moment in Time in Photographs
Speaking of my cousin, independent photographers like Jennifer Corcoran Photography can help your family capture natural moments together. And yes, they offer certificates.
Book a family session with a photographer that takes photos of you having fun together rather than staid poses.
Spend More Time (Maybe Less Money)
Experience vouchers make Christmas gifts that matter because they turn into fond memories. For instance, last February, our family gave my hubby a trip to a dark sky park for star-watching. We printed this homemade certificate to the right as a 4 x 6 photo, framed, and wrapped it.
Not only did he love it—the rest of us did too.
Hockey games, lunch and a movie, a girls’ pedicure afternoon all make wonderful gifts.
Tools that Help Loved Ones Reminisce
Of course, I have to get around to my book, Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. This too is a gift that gives back, helping loved ones to preserve and share episodes of their past. Guess who they might be willing to share it with?
Likewise, memory gifts, such as a calendar of family pictures you can have made at Shutterfly or your local photography store, can bring the warmth of nostalgia throughout the year.
My Gifts That Matter and Memory (and other) Crafts Pinterest boards list a plethora of ideas. You can also check out Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal’s top Nine Family History Gifts You Can Make Yourself. Whether you can get them done before Christmas probably depends on how handy you are.
I’d love to add to this list of Christmas gifts that matter. I’d love to see your great ideas in the comments!