AncestryDNA kits make perfect holiday gifts. They’re unique, interactive, personal, and fun.
However, when your friends or family members first unwrap their kits, they might be a bit underwhelmed by receiving what appears to be a box with a plastic tube in it.
While the excitement that will come with their results is sure to thrill them eventually, here are eight tips to enhance the recipient’s initial experience of receiving a gift of personal discovery:
- Get them salivating. A successful AncestryDNA test requires a healthy slug of saliva. Give a favorite candy bar or other treat along with a kit and a note saying you hope it will get those juices flowing. Once the spitting is finished, your gift recipient can savor the treat as a reward for a job well done.
- Put the puzzle together. Many people find that the results of their AncestryDNA tests help them fill holes in their family trees. Give a person who is looking for those kinds of answers a puzzle with the kit, but before you do so, remove several of the pieces. Then, after your gift recipient has sent in her test, give a few of the missing pieces every week while they’re waiting. Once the results are in, pass along the last pieces so everything falls into place.
- Assemble the ingredients. This is similar to the puzzle idea, but with a sweet twist. Along with the AncestryDNA test, provide the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe in a jar. Include a note telling your gift recipient that he/she will soon understand his own “ingredients,” but in the meantime, he/she can enjoy a batch of cookies.
- Give them the world. Not all of us are experts in world geography. If your ethnicity estimate includes nations or regions you’ve never heard of, your surprise could be tinged with frustration. Alleviate this by providing a small world map or atlas along with the kit, removing any doubt about the exact location of the Iberian Peninsula or Benin/Togo.
- Offer tastes of home. Once your happy gift recipients receive their results, they’ll likely want to learn more about the areas their ancestors called home. Find a world market or grocery store that sells a wide variety of international foods or other products, and get a gift card to wrap up with the AncestryDNA kit. When the results are in, take your friend shopping for items from areas that match their ethnicity estimate.
- Make a game of it. Part of the fun of receiving an AncestryDNA kit is pondering what the results will show while you’re waiting for the lab to process your test. Create an online forum that lets friends and family members guess what the recipient’s ethnicity estimate will include. When the news is in, give a treat or other small prize to the person or people who made the best guesses.
- Plant a tree. One of the best gifts you can give along with an AncestryDNA kit is a gift subscription to Ancestry. Once your friend or family member receives his results, he or she is likely to be more interested in his genealogy. With the help of Ancestry tools and record collections, they can start building their family tree even before the results come in.
- Call on the professionals. If your gift recipient isn’t the type who likes working on family history, but still wants to build those ties to their ancestors, you have options. For a luxury-level experience, give her a gift certificate to AncestryProGenealogists. Once the results are in, they will be able to work with the professional family history researchers there to build out the family tree and discover the family story.
The gift of stronger connections to one’s roots is a truly one-of-a-kind present for the holiday season. By adding a little extra, you can make the experience even more magical for all of the AncestryDNA kit recipients on your list.