December 04, 2007|
A Genealogist's Christmas Eve
by Sandra Devlin
'Twas the night before Christmas and inside my house
Little was stirring, except my computer mouse.
Our descendants were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of ancestors danced in their heads.
So, I at my laptop, near my trusty old printer
Put the finishing touches to the project of winter,
The gift I had promised for under the tree
A product of love, the family genealogy.
My table with clutter galore was aspread
With pedigree charts of the living and dead;
Old yellowed photos, letters of yore,
Wills and diaries chronicling days from before.
While others bought gifts at Wal-Mart and Sears,
I'd spent my time searching birth dates and years.
No need for ribbons or fancy gift wrappings,
This gift had a way of transcending the trappings.
While surveying the charts with one final proof,
I must have missed the sound on the roof.
For what to my wondering eyes did appear
But the jolly old elf, replete in his gear.
Searching my face, old Santa could sense
My Christmas spirit was extremely intense.
He spied my research on the table spread out,
'A genealogist!' he exclaimed, 'that removes any doubt.'
As I climbed up the stairs feeling quite in the pink,
I looked back at Santa and shared a sly wink.
For he and I know that the gift of oneself,
Beats anything bought from a department store shelf.
This poem was found online several years ago, and represents what many of our patrons do for their Christmas gifts to family. Long-forgotten photographs are found and copies are made for family members to go along with the family research that is completed. Research is done many times just to find the names of grandparents and great grandparents for a friend at Christmas, not just for family.
I can remember years ago when a young high school student came in several months before December as he wanted to do family research so that he could present it to his grandfather at Christmas. The next week he brought with him his sister; the next time he visited, he brought his sister and his mother.
It soon became a family affair and much research was completed. What a wonderful Christmas present Grandfather received that year, and what love was shown to him by doing this research.
From the staff at Bassett Historical Center, a wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season to each of you, and best wishes for the New Year.