The Winner of the #HolidayHeritage Challenge Is…

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It’s been our privilege this past month to hear what makes holiday traditions so special to you. Whether it was finding your oldest holiday family photo, sharing recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, telling us more about the ancestors that had an impact on you, or describing traditions you cherish, you’ve enlightened us and warmed our hearts with your #holidayheritage challenge entries. All your entries showcase the power of family and holiday traditions, and we enjoyed each and every one. Before we announce our grand prize winner, we wanted to share a few fan favorites from throughout the competition.

Week #1

In the first week, we asked you to send in your oldest holiday photo. We received beautiful submissions, including this post submitted by Vija Tate from 1935. The picture is from Christmas Eve, in Madliena, Latvia, and includes her mom and aunts.

#holidayheritagePhoto taken Xmas Eve 1935 in Madliena, Latvia…includes my mom and her 2 sisters, their cousins and other family members…much simpler but happier times…

Posted by Vija Tate on Sunday, November 24, 2019

Jens Steen-Jørgensen from Denmark shared a beautiful holiday photo from 1968 where he — a joyful 1-and-a-half-year-old — is celebrating Christmas with his Dad, aunt, and grandmother.

Julen 1968. Jeg er her som 1½ årig, sammen med min far, Faster Mie Knudsen og Farmor. Julen blev holdt i Hørby ved Sæby.#HolidayHeritage

Posted by Jens Steen-Jørgensen on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Week #2

For our second challenge, we asked: “If you could go back in time, which ancestor would you love to spend the holiday with and why?”

Giusy Spagna from Sternatia, Puglia, Italy, wanted to spend the holidays with her Tata Giorgio — her great-grandfather — featured in the center of the photo.

Kalani wanted to meet his 3rd-great-grandfather, John Halborn of Hull, England. He even shared a record of his Hawaiian naturalization record from 1845:

Week #3

In week #3, we asked you to share your family’s favorite holiday recipes and the stories behind them. These submissions made our mouths water!

Kristina Lynn Clever shared her Grandma Clever’s Apple Streusel recipe, which had been passed down from generation to generation. Her post inspired a lively conversation amongst her family and friends.

I have to play along with the MyHeritage holiday challenge. This weeks question… What is your favorite family holiday…

Posted by Kristina Lynn Clever on Saturday, December 14, 2019

And who can resist fresh potato dumplings? This recipe submitted by Gennady whet our appetites.

Week #4

Last week, we asked you to tell us the story behind your family’s holiday traditions — and your entries left us truly inspired.

Sharon shared her sweet tradition of using family photos to decorate her Christmas tree.

Jessica shared this photo of a magnificent ornament her great-grandmother crocheted by hand! How wonderful that she continues the tradition of crafting homemade ornaments from year to year with her own kids.

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This is an ornament that my great grandma made. As a child I loved making ornaments, and once (as I was coloring and cutting our paper ornaments) I told my mother that's what I was going to do for a living when I grew up. While it's not a source of income, I do make ornaments each year with my kids and it is a fun tradition that they look forward to. I can't wait to do this with them now that school is out for the break! We also go caroling every year to our friends and neighbors. What traditions does your family look forward to? . Swipe to see a tattered ornament I made as a child and then one my son and I made together a few years back. . . . #familyhistory #genealogy #ornaments #angel #handmadeornaments #christmasornaments #christmastradition #tradition #holidayheritage #myheritage

A post shared by Jessica (@treasured_families) on

Our week #4 winner is a submission from Sweden that pays tribute to a darling grandmother and her tradition of using beautiful Santa plates!

And finally, without further ado, we are thrilled to announce our grand prize winner of 10 MyHeritage DNA kits and 10 complete subscriptions! Drum roll please… congratulations to Cristian Sanz Sánchez from Madrid, Spain!

Cristian shared this wonderful memory of himself surrounded by friends right before a Christmas pageant.

We’d like to extend a hearty thank you to everyone who opened their hearts to participate in the #HolidayHeritage Challenge. Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year!

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  • Mary Daly


    March 23, 2020

    Trying to locate my grand uncle Patrick Higgins on my father’s side,
    I think he emigrated to America approx. : 1890