sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Gift for Somebody who has Everything

Welcome to the Sunday Sermonette.

If you've hung around my blog, you'll know that I carp about exchanging items to put in landfill at Christmas time. I am not in the least bit anti-Christmas, but I hate to give people things like hideous sweaters or fruitcake (that could be 100 years old or 1 day old, at this point, what difference does it make?).

So every year I struggle to find a gift for people who pretty much have everything and I prefer to give something that won't end up in the trash.

This year I am giving DNA testing kits out to those people who always drop something off at the house for me. Almost everyone has some curiosity about who THEIR people are, where they came from, who their ancestors are, etc. While they can go onto https://familysearch.org and get a sense of that but it doesn't go deep enough. 

I bought test kits from Twenty-three and Me  (https://www.23andme.com) for my sons-in-law (because I'm interested in those results) and for friends. Close family knows that they all descended from the crowned heads of Europe (in-bread freaks who passed their genetic flaws down to the ages).

Their advertisement:
23 pairs of chromosomes.
One unique you.
Find out what percent of your DNA comes from populations around the world, ranging from East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and more. Break European ancestry down into distinct regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia and Italy. People with mixed ancestry, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans will also get a detailed breakdown.
A genealogical DNA test looks at a person's genome at specific locations. Results give information about personal ancestry. In general, these tests compare the results of an individual to others from the same lineage or to current and historic ethnic groups. The test results are not meant for medical use, where different types of testing is needed. They do not determine specific genetic diseases or disorders. They are intended only to give genealogical information.

I just hope that people enjoy them and don't simply throw the test kits out with the wrapping paper.

Sermonette portion - I think that it's important that we know who we are, that we appreciate our distinctiveness and that we consider that all of our ancestors were successful in that they lived long enough to reproduce. I had an ancestor who arrived on the Mayflower, which means that he was a misfit who couldn't get along with people back home and fled. Other ancestors came to the new world from Britain, Switzerland and some were here, native American Indians, when Europeans settled the land. Most of them that I know about came to the New World in search of opportunities, not hand-outs. They built that (unlike the Obama and Clinton relatives who apparently didn't), and I'm proud of those people who made my life possible for me. Yes, that and $6.00 will buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but it's interesting all the same.

And a parting shot for the Sermon minded:


(drum roll with a rim shot) I'll be playing this room all week...


8 comments:

  1. At least you have the right Moses portrayed.

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    Replies
    1. There is only one Moses and he owned a Winchester.

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  2. That's a clever gift idea! I'm sure it'll be well received.

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    Replies
    1. I like to break out of the norm.

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  3. Years ago I went to Mt. Sinai with some Jewish friends and their leader, who was a scientist, said, "That Moses, quite a guy. Think, leading all those Jews through the desert for FORTY YEARS."

    That's stayed with me, for some reason.

    Thanks for the sermon.

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    Replies
    1. Leading Jews is a lot like herding cats.

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