Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

Each year at about this time, I list some suggestions for items that your family historian or genealogist might like to receive for Christmas. This year is no exception, but first I want to tell you about some upcoming events:

St. Paul Lutheran Church, 602 Morgan Blvd., Harlingen, TX, invites you to the second and final night of its annual “Nativity Nights 2020” tonight from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. This year the event will be different from those of previous years in that you will be able to watch the journey of Hope from the comfort of your car. There will be free crafts, books, candies, and cookies delivered contactless to your vehicle.

Trinity University Press presents the Maverick Book Club: “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico.” This virtual event with Sandra Cisneros, Kathy Sosa, Ellen Riojas Clark, and moderated by Norma Elia Cantu, is scheduled for December 9 at 7 p.m. To register for this free event, visit the Trinity University Press Facebook page.

The Harlingen Chamber of Commerce invites its members to participate in the “Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.” Judging will take place December 15 at your business location. The winner will be announced Wednesday, December 16, and be provided a Free Christmas Staff Luncheon. To enter please call 956-423-5440.

The Valley Symphony Orchestra, Peter Dabrowski, Music Director and, Conductor, presents “A Touch of Frost, The VSO Holiday Tradition,” live and in-person at the beautiful San Juan Basilica, Wednesday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m. Seating is extremely limited and all tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance.

This concert will enforce all health and safety protocols and social distance will be maintained at all times. For more information or to purchase tickets visit their Facebook page or call 956-661-1615.

The Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum and the Rio Grande Valley Museum Association’s annual “Christmas Tree Extravaganza is now open to the public. Get into the Christmas spirit by visiting the museum during regular hours to see the beautifully crafted trees and wreaths created by community members and organizations. The museum is complying with all safety protocols to keep you safe and masks are required. For more information call 956-216-4901or visit the museum’s Facebook page.

The following are some ways you can “Give the Gift of Genealogy:”

• An annual membership to a national, state, or local genealogical society; National Genealogical Society, ngsgenealogy.org, Texas State Genealogical Society, txsgs.org; Tip of Texas Genealogical Society, and the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Genealogical Society, RGVHGS.org.

• A subscription to a genealogy site such as Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank.com, Fold3.com, Findmypast.com, MyHeritage.com., and Newspapers.com.

• DNA test kits are a popular gift item and right now several companies are having holiday specials. There are several companies offering this service, but the most popular are Ancestry.com, FamilyTreeDNA (ftdna.com) and 23 and Me (23andme.com.)

• New computers, tablets, printers, scanners, an extra monitor, portable chargers, cameras, and other electronics are always welcome gifts!

• A Magic Wand Portable Scanner, Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner, an external hard drive, USB and compact flash drives, a paper trimmer, a binding machine, file folders, binders or dividers, paper, printer ink and gift cards to a local office supply store.

• A Family Tree Magazine subscription available in both print and Kindle editions. This is the most popular mainstream genealogy magazine right now. The issues include articles, how-to’s, free forms, lists of resources and websites, and more.

Some of the items listed above can be purchased locally, but most will be found online. More items will be added to the list in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. Recommendations are based on my own experience and I’m not an affiliate or sales partner for any of the sites or products mentioned.

Happy Shopping!