I Gave My Hard-To-Buy-For Dad AncestryDNA, And Here’s What Happened

I Gave My Hard-To-Buy-For Dad AncestryDNA, And Here’s What Happened

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crystalmariesing / Twenty20

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It’s impossible to buy my father a gift — he has everything, and wants nothing. He lives simply, still reads the newspaper, and absolutely dominates in thermostat temperature control.

Every year, I struggle to buy this no-nonsense guy a present that wows. Something that’s more thoughtful than a gift card and not lame like a sports sweatshirt — two things he would absolutely enjoy and say, “That’ll work,” after opening.

See, he’s impossible because no matter what you give him he accepts with no take-backsies or side-eyes. And I always wait until the absolute last minute to buy him something because I’m always at a loss.

Until last year when I bought him AncestryDNA.

After giving my dad his kit, AncestryDNA became this thing he was always talking about — wherever he went he was telling people all the stuff he found out. Whether it was the big family party we have every year in January, or the waitress at his morning breakfast place. He’d call me weekly with new discoveries in the middle of my workday like that was the PERFECT time to break down the intricacies of Ireland. Honestly, he was getting me back for all the times as a tiny human I interrupted his super important “adulty” things.

AncestryDNA works like this: You order the kit and it arrives in about a week. You put a small saliva sample into a prepaid mailer, the sample goes to a lab and — BOOM — you can unlock some amazing personal discoveries through your unique genetic code and Ancestry’s growing database of over 10 million people.

We’re talking where in the world your ancestors came from, who in the world you share DNA with and how they’re related to you, and if you spring for the new Traits extra, why you have some of the traits you do.

My dad not only unlocked his Irish heritage but was also able to figure out a question that’s nagged at him for his entire life: What happened to his grandfather? He knew he died young, but that was it — not how, not where, and not even his full name. Through a cousin he connected with via AncestryDNA, my dad found out how my great-grandfather died (a heart attack), his name (James), and his address. My father has seven siblings, and only one of them vaguely remembers hearing about their paternal grandfather, so this information became invaluable to all of us.

I don’t really think I can take the credit it deserves for a last-minute gift that’s had this big of an impact. All I know is that there ARE gifts out there for the impossible-to-buy-for people in our lives. And no matter if I deserve the credit or not, I’m beyond thrilled to know I really made my dad happy — he deserves it.

Discover your origins, historical details, and DNA matches with AncestryDNA. No other DNA test connects you to as many specific places in the world or more living relatives around it. Get your DNA kit now for $59 before 12/24. Order by December 13th to get your AncestryDNA kit in time for Christmas.