Twelve Gifts of TIME, Please!

Just for fun, I’ll explain what I really want for the holidays, and as a matter of fact every day:  TIME. Time to do genealogy and still have a life.

You, dear readers, are probably much better at getting your genealogy tasks done every day. I never finish my to-do lists. I dwell in an infinite sea of tasks, trying to stay afloat. No one else feels like that, right?

The best song I know about over-the-top gifts is The Twelve Days of Christmas, so I thought I’d start there. Except that I want all twelve gifts of Enough Time on the SAME day—the Perfect Genealogical Accomplishment Day.

And then I want that day to happen over and over, pretty please. Thank you, Santa.

So here goes my request for 12 gifts of Enough Time (in one repeated day), prompted by the “12 Days of Chrismas” carol:

“Twelve drummers drumming”:

Twelve cross-checked sources. Drumroll! These will add up eventually to the well-known Reasonably Exhaustive Search. Drumroll again!

“Eleven pipers piping”:

 Eleven tweeters tweeting to me, and then I tweet back. We have extended meaningful conversations with links and pics and warm-hearted retweets.

“Ten lords a-leaping”:

Ten blogs a-posting, and leaping out to my reader’s eye. They each deserve a thoughtful comment. Well, I can do that now with my gift of Enough Time.

“Nine ladies dancing”:

Nine photo-scanning successes. Snap! That means each photo scanned with Flip-Pal, imported to laptop/iPad with caption and date, edited, sorted to folder.  Boo-tee-ful.

“Eight maids a-milking”:

Milking is tough work. So here I need time for eight robust efforts to demolish a brick wall with newspapers, military records, library searches, tombstones, vital records through the mail, and what have you. Maybe the milk comes out, maybe it doesn’t.

“Seven swans a-swimming”:

Here I apply my caveat that I still want a life. So, seven units a-exercising. My current unit is 5 minutes—this means a half-hour walk. Won’t make me as slender as a swan, but will keep the blood running through my veins.

Mariann Regan

“Six geese a-laying”:

So many family letters a-laying around to be archived! For starters, to be put into acid-free folders and archive boxes. So, six letters. Or why not six whole packs of letters, since my gift will be Enough Time. Preserve those golden eggs for future generations!

“Five golden rings”:

Read five pages from my favorite classical genealogy text. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Val Greenwood, Marsha Rising . . . Hey, why not five chapters! I have Enough Time now.

“Four calling birds”:

Four new cousins calling. Surprise! Each one has a big new cache of well-documented family trees, wills, land deeds, and daily journals from the 1700s that are even now being mailed to me to be organized. Well, that’s all right, I have Enough Time now.

“Three French hens”:

Three contacts with genealogists, each contact as deliciously substantial as a French hen. I get to choose from webinars, conferences, podcasts, Blog Talk Radio….How lucky that I have Enough Time now so that I can do three in one day.

“Two turtle doves”:

Two techie updates. Sweet as turtle doves. I’m including only two, because I’m a bit slow reading those App instructions, even with my gift of Infinite Time. Yesterday, I downloaded some kind of photo app manual . . . 136 pages.

“And a partridge in a pear tree!”

Yes. One Fantastic Genealogical Find. I deserve it. We all deserve it.

Or. And? Writing One Informative and Loveable Blog.

Or maybe . . . Making a Mind-Blowing Supper. Use Instagram. Tweet it.


Now, I ask you. This isn’t much to want during one entire gi-normous day, is it? This is only what we all need. Fair is fair.





6 thoughts on “Twelve Gifts of TIME, Please!

  1. Well, I can tell what visions of sugar-plums are dancing in your head, Mariann! Let alone all those twelve days…don’t you wish we all could get those kinds of wishes granted just once on Christmas Eve?

  2. What a fun post, Mariann. If only these wishes could come true! I’d especially like to see those four cousins with their well-documented treasures. Sweet Christmas dreams to you!

    • Thanks, Shelley! Recently I had a second cousin contact me through this blog — never heard of him before, but he has oceans of maternal-maternal family history (a line I’ve just barely started on) that he wants me to organize for a SC archive. He sent me two computer discs and a huge chart so far! Blessing in disguise?

  3. Love it, absolutely. And you are so right; all I need is time. All these posts coming out about the “best genealogy gifts”; what do I want for Christmas? A free babysitter, so I can still play with my little one, but not feel guilty about working from home, as there would be someone else there to play with her when I’m busy. (And a bottomless wallet, so I can afford all the classes, resources, records access and archival materials my little imagination can come up with!)

    • Thank you for your responses! Your daily workload always amazes me, Jen. I know people must tell you that all the time, but really, I don’t see how you could manage all you do even if you lived by yourself. And you have a family, and a little one, and you give back to the genealogical community …. it all astounds me. So many genealogists are tweeting that they wake up bracing themselves about how to organize their day, then work as hard as they can, drink loads of coffee, perform innumerable tasks of researching, writing, posting, archiving, webinaring . . . and then by the end of the day they’re pledging to themselves that they’ll have to do “better” tomorrow. Yipes. I hope you get your free babysitter, or as close to that as humanly possible! A bottomless wallet and infinitely elastic time is the least the universe can provide for all these enthusiastic questers!