All Good Gifts

Tomorrow is 6 January, the feast of Epiphany. The Western Church traditionally celebrates this day to remember the visitation of the Magi to the young child Jesus. And with the Magi come the gifts of gold for His Kingship, frankincense for His Priesthood, and myrrh for His Sacrifice.

Gift Boxes
Gift Boxes by FutUndBeidl (CC BY 2.0)

It's also a good reason for us to talk about gifts in our lives. I'm not talking about spiritual giftedness - that's a topic for another blog. I'm talking about physical, tangible wrapped-up boxes with pretty bows. And yes, I think it's a perfectly valid topic for family history, thankyouverymuch.

What is the best present that you ever received? Who gave it to you? Where were you?

Maybe it was a cherished heirloom passed down from grandmother to granddaughter. Perhaps you received a new fishing rod or toolbox from your father, and then went to "try it out," just the two of you.

Whatever it is, there's bound to be a story there waiting to be told. Allow yourself the time this week to think back to the memories of that gift, that holiday, those family members you were (or weren't) with. If you have a photo of the item you're reminiscing over, so much the better.

Pretend that a young child is asking you why that set of figurines in the china cabinet or the cuckoo clock in the kitchen is so special. Explain where the item came from and why the giver thought that you, the recipient, would enjoy having it. What do the memories have to say about the character, habits, or personality of the people involved.

As we always say here, your family's story should go beyond names, dates, and places. Remembering the gifts and givers in our history can certainly add color to your genealogy.


1 comment:

  1. Our daughters are in American Heritage Girls, and they are both working on their Ancestor Detector badge this year, along with doing their first year in Genealogy in 4-H. One of the Ancestor Detector badge requirements is to learn about family heirlooms. We've all enjoyed going room to room in our house, telling our girls about this item, which used to belong to their GGG Grandfather, or made by their GG Grandmother. Interestingly enough, the Textile Arts badge in AHG also has a component of learning about and documenting family heirlooms as well. It's time well spent!