Nov 21, 2007

National Family History Day

You may be under the impression that Thanksgiving is all about stuffing your face and passing out on the couch in front of football games/parades/Christmas movies (come earlier every year, don't they?). And while I don't wish to detract from the true spirit of this most American of holidays, I'd like to remind you that tomorrow is also National Family History Day. Huzzah! Get out your pedigree stencil and medical records release form, this is gonna be fun.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check it out on the Surgeon General's website. Getting more information on your family's medical history is not only a great way to annoy grandma while she's trying to enjoy her tryptophan-induced stupor, it could save your life. Right now you're thinking, 'is she being serious?' The answer is YES. As serious as the heart attack you could avoid by knowing about your predisposition to cardiovascular disease and consulting your physician (for example).

The Surgeon General's website has a great family history tool that makes organizing your family tree (or "pedigree," as we say in the biz) easy. And you can have fun with it. Get photos or draw pictures of your family members, and make a pedigree collage. If you're technically inclined, make a website so that all of your geographically distant relations can contribute. Shake any family tree hard enough and a genealogist or two will fall out - you'll be surprised at how bad ass fascinating your ancestry can be!

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