graduation gift ideas

gibby2015April 9, 2007

Okay - maybe I'm starting to think about this a bit early but I was thinking about it. We have some close friends who have twin boys graduating from high school this year. We are very close to this family - perhaps closer than our actual nieces/nephews.

We'd like to get them something more meaningful than cash. And though I'm sure all kids like money, these kids needs will be very well covered by their parents as they always have been. So money just seems so meaningless. They're very well rounded kids - not spoiled at all - but they don't "need" anything if you know what I mean.

Any great ideas?

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mitchdesj

Money is still the best solution for that age, imo; mementoes are boring.
Giving a gift card for a book/music store is always welcome.

A nice leather photo album could be a solution, the kind of thing a teenager wouldn't buy but would need eventually.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:18AM
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mitchdesj

I don't mean all mementoes are boring, I mean grad themed mementoes, such as cap and diploma artifacts, frames, my kids are young adults now and threw out that kind of thing they got as gifts from grandparents.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:21AM
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pecanpie

I received one graduation gift, back in the Pleistocene era, of course, that I still have and use.

It's a plastic box, like a fishing box. In it are tools of life, so to speak.

I have a pair of good scissors, a compact tool kit, a large measuring tape, an assortment of needles, a loaded wrist pincushion, basic thread colors, a stapler, glue and rubber cement, small assorted brushes, tacks, nails, masking tape- you get the picture.

My name and graduation year are still on the box!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 7:53AM
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brachl

When I asked two college-aged girls what they suggested as gifts, they both recommended some item from the college the graduate will be attending. So I have bought sweatshirts, blankets etc emblazoned with the name of the college as high-school graduation gifts. I think most colleges have an online store. I know my son, who will be going to college next year, already has one sweatshirt from the college of his choice and I'm sure would be delighted to have more. I have also given items for dorm rooms. One time I gave a kid one of the nicer and more expensive Leatherman multi-tools. The recipient of that gift told me several times how much he liked and used his Leatherman.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:12AM
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cupofkindness

What about a gift card to the Container Store?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 9:56AM
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lowspark

I like brachl's idea. My son will be attending college in NYC and one of the gifts he received which he really loved was a couple of books about New York. Some basic, how to get around, places to go, things to see type of advice.

The idea I think, is to get them things they can use after they arrive at their chosen school. So the school related or city related items really work well, because it's likely they don't have a lot of that kind of stuff yet.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 10:59AM
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brachl

My son who is going to college next year was at the beach this week with a friend, and when I went down for the day to visit, he took me to the little book store where they had something called the College Survivial Kit. We bought one (we have lots of graduation gifts to give this year), and I think the family that took him bought one for my son when he was distracted. It's available at Target: College Survivial Kit , I think one could make up such a kit one's self or do something similar, maybe personalizing it a little based on the location of the college and type of school the graduate is going to.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 10:24PM
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sjerin

A friend gave my daughter a pink tool kit (Lillian Vernon) which we all thought was very cute and useful. Her boyfriend even borrowed it!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 3:49PM
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gibby2015

These are great ideas - thanks!! I need to show this to DH - he's most interested in what you all have to say.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:27PM
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brachl

Sjerin's e-mail reminded me that someone once recommended to me that I buy as a gift Barbara K's Dorm Survival Kit Dorm Survival Kit . It's a tool set in a backpack designed for someone living in a dorm. My friends have also suggested a nice terry-cloth bathrobe (if the kid has to go down the hall to shower), a good (and fun/funny) alarm clock,and a nice duffel, backpack or suitcase (possibly stuffed with some dorm-appropriate items, depending on how much one wants to spend).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 5:12PM
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zelmar

I have the same dilemma. My daughter graduated last year and she received a wonderful gift from a family friend that I'll never be able to come close to matching in significance when her daughter graduates this year.

I like all the tool-type ideas listed above (dd found a small set of screwdrivers I insisted she take useful.)

Dd liked the monogrammed towels she received.

Another idea is a good set of small binoculars which would be great for sporting events and excursions. I know I wasn't willing to part with the "family" binoculars when dd left.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:07PM
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talley_sue_nyc

ooh, I had an idea.

a "life reference library." Here are some suggestions, but of course there are alternate books, and maybe other topics.

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House

To help them clean, and do laundry, etc. They won't need most of the stuff in there until later, but....

Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition (Paperback)

Bcs they're grown-ups now, and in charge of their own social life.

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Third Edition

Because they are now in charge of their own well-being.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

Because they are now in charge of their own finances.

Include a note that says something like, "Now that you're an adult, I can let you in on a little secret. All us grown-ups who look like we know everything? We don't. And whatever we *do* know now? Once upon a time, we didn't. We learned it along the way--sometimes the hard way. Hopefully these books will help you learn it the easy way. So you can be a know-it-all grown-up, just like us!"

I like Pecanpie's idea, too--be sure to put a seam ripper in there, for removing scratchy tags from clothes, etc.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 5:32PM
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gfiliberto

My kids *LOVED* the wool blanket (also comes in fleece) with their university logo and their name on it. They used it at football games or when curling up with a book.

Another idea- clock/radio/CD player.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:04PM
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