Obviously, everyone on your list need a copy of my book, Old Fort Jackson, which unfortunately for me, is now 40% off at the publisher’s website.
Last year, this book topped my “must buy” list at the Davenport House:
Really, you can’t go wrong with any book from your local booksellers, E. Shaver or The Book Lady, especially archaeology and history books. ; )
For the person who truly has everything, consider a donation to a good cause in their name, such as the Historic Kiah House Restoration Campaign or the Forsyth Farmers’ Market. Also super easy is a museum or historic site membership. This is a perfect way to support sites and makes it a breeze to go as often as you wish. Check out the Coastal Museums Association directory for more museums, many of which have gift shops and/or memberships for sale.
Here is a sampling of my local favorites with great gift shops:
Thanksgiving can be difficult to teach, especially to young ones. Our country’s treatment of Indigenous peoples has been horrific, so it can be tempting to tell the old story of “Pilgrims” and “Natives” breaking bread and living in apparent harmony. However, this erases history and Indigenous peoples’ experience while it fails all children in understanding our culture and the importance of changing our culture for the better. (I write this as I watch my son complete Thanksgiving activities on his virtual kindergarten.)
Below are some Thanksgiving teaching resources for teachers and parents, which tell a more accurate, and in most cases, anti-racist story. Full disclosure, I have not checked each and every link on every page. Also, I found these resources on the excellent Facebook page, Teaching Social Justice Resource Exchange.
DID BENJAMIN FRANKLIN WANT THE NATIONAL BIRD TO BE A TURKEY?
The story about Benjamin Franklin wanting the National Bird to be a turkey is just a myth. This false story began as a result of a letter Franklin wrote to his daughter criticizing the original eagle design for the Great Seal, saying that it looked more like a turkey. In the letter, Franklin wrote that the “Bald Eagle…is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly…[he] is too lazy to fish for himself.”
About the turkey, Franklin wrote that in comparison to the bald eagle, the turkey is “a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America…He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage.” So although Benjamin Franklin defended the honor of the turkey against the bald eagle, he did not propose its becoming one of America’s most important symbols.
My favorite gifts are books, both to give and receive. I’m the uncool mom who always gifts books. My son is getting four books for his birthday today (Happy Birthday sweetie!). I bought two of these books through a Scholastic program at his school, where every order gets free books for the school. I also bought for his friend’s upcoming birthday and Christmas.
For the adults, Savannah Square by Squareis a beautiful coffee table book authored by Michael Jordan and Mick McCay with photography and art by Les Wilkes, Phil Hodgkins, and Constance McCay. Original art work from the book is currently on display and prints are available for purchase. See the image below for details. (Full disclosure, Michael is a friend. Also check out his Hidden History of Civil War Savannah and excellent and surprisingly funny read).
I know, Amazon is easy, but I encourage you to look into local Museum Shops. Again, these shops are the best places to find a selection of local books. Davenport House and Wormsloe Historic Site immediately spring to mind for great books selections. Museum Shops often have great presents for all price levels and people, and you don’t have to pay admission to browse. Have a Girl Scout in your life? Look at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. Military member of the family? How about the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force? Perhaps you have an Uncle Gary who is a twenty year veteran of the Mighty Eighth. No? Just me then. The Mighty Eighth even has an online shop.
“I like my history Black, hold the sugar”. Joseph McGill’s Slave Dwelling Project more than educates people, it transforms lives by allowing for real conversations about history and slavery. Support this amazing cause with this cheeky t-shirt.
Membership to a museum or historic site also makes a great gift. My son’s grandparents are renewing his membership to Oatland Island Wildlife Center, because he loves walking the trails with his little friends. And picking up lots of sticks along the way. Here is a partial list of the museums in the greater Savannah area. Most offer membership at various levels, and you can always add an extra donation! Historic Savannah Foundation is a venerable preservation organization with cool membership benefits (admission to the Davenport House, an invite to the gala!). Another good option is the Forsyth Farmers’ Market. (See my post about how supporting farmers benefits preservation.) Being a Friend of the Market gets you a Vendor of the Week discount, the newsletter, and Invitations to Farm Tours. Joining at the family level also gets you a colorful market tote bag, which people want to buy but it’s only available to Friends, and the Market-to-Table Recipe book with contributions by market friends and famers. (Full disclosure, I am on the Board of the Forsyth Farmers’ Market).
Please consider buying local and supporting preservation and archaeology. I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season.
PS If you want to get me something, write letters to your city and county officials and tell them you support archaeology. Demand an archaeology ordinance and a city/county archaeologist!
Multiple historic sites are hosting cool Halloween-themed programs. Consider a haunting with twist of history rather than a manufactured, fake presentation this season.
From Drowning to Dysentery: A Deadly Look at Fort Pulaski
“Fort Pulaski might not have its own ghost story, but our island has certainly witnessed its fair share of the macabre. On October 19th and 20th, join park staff for a special ranger-led lantern tour into the darker history of Cockspur Island. Tickets are $18 per person and can be purchased by calling 912-786-4383.” See their Facebook event for more details.
Beer, Bourbon & Bullets at Old Fort Jackson
While not directly Halloween-related, Civil War medicine is definitely scary. “’Beer, Bourbon & Bullets,’ will give attendees the chance to network and enjoy beer and bourbon cocktails, while getting a peek at military field medicine and the role that spirits played along with 19th-century tools and techniques.” Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door; members get a $5 discount. Details available on their Facebook event.
Yellow Fever in Savannah 1820: Davenport House
This annual event is always a crowd-pleaser, plus it offers many dates and times. “This October see a historical recreation of Savannah’s dreadful Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1820 with particular emphasis on daily life of the period. A highlight is moving though the candlelit rooms witnessing enactments by costumed performers. In an area seldom seen by visitors, the fate and experiences of the uncounted half to the city’s population, both free and enslaved Africans, are revealed. Reservations recommended. Limited attendance.” Tickets are $14.95. More information is available on their Facebook event.
Halloween Hike at Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Oatland Island Wildlife Center has been closed for sometime due to this summer’s tornado. They are having two Halloween Hikes, despite the continued closure. Also, this is the only kid-friendly listing here. “Pick your date [October 19 or 20] and don’t be late. This is a cash only event $10 kids, $5 adults. Purchased wristbands allow kids to get candy. In an attempt to be eco friendly plastic bags will not be provided as in years past. Please bring a container for their candy. Costume up and spend the evening trick or treating with our furry friends!” Their Facebook page has two events listed, one for each day.
*Quoted material comes directly from the links, usually the organization’s Facebook event page.