I know that I'm very late...and on top of that I'm going to "cheat"!
Here is our "mission" from Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:
1) What gift that you received for Christmas is your favorite for genealogy purposes? Book, magazine, hardware, software, website subscription, research time, DNA test - what was it, and how will it affect your genealogy research?
2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google+ in response to this post.
3) Come on, spill! And it's OK to respond to this in the days after Saturday too!
The gift I am going to talk about is not one that I received, it's one that I gave. It's actually a project that was started quite a long time ago.
When my nieces and nephew were young I would often tell stories about them to everyone at work. They were, of course, the most amazing children in the world! A good friend told me that I really needed to write these stories down. I agreed, that sounded like a great idea and I kept saying that I would get around to it. As time went by I just kept saying I would get around to it and finally my friend shamed me into it by writing some of the stories herself and e-mailing them to me. I guess she has heard them a time or two!! That got me started and very soon we had a nice little book. Now this was in the mid-1990's and I didn't have a digital camera or any type of fancy way to make a book. The "book" was just plain paper with a stiff orange paper cover. It was certainly not fancy, but the kids loved it anyway and really liked listening to stories about themselves.
So, fast forward to the age of digital pictures and many wonderful ways to put those pictures in books. The same friend happened to mention that now I could add pictures to the stories. That seemed like it would be a nice, quick, little project - WRONG! While I still had the original word file for the stories, as I started working on the project I wanted to expand and add more stories. Also, as I would copy the stories into the new format and then try to find pictures to go with that story it took more time than I thought. While I could often "see" the story as it had happened, that didn't mean we had a picture necessarily.
The very best part for me - and maybe this was really MY present - was that we opened these books last, by design, and then sat around and read all the stories out loud. The kids remembered so many other things as well. We all laughed and talked about stories that weren't in the book - so maybe I need to start thinking about volume two! It was a great end to Christmas morning this year.
As we were cleaning up the living room I heard Colton ask his sister if the book on the floor was hers. Her answer? "Oh no, mine is already in my suitcase so I can take it with me to Joe's (her fiancé) I'm going to make him read the WHOLE thing!"