Graduation announcements?

annkathrynNovember 23, 2008

My son is a senior in high school. He didn't order graduation announcements when they were being sold at school. I was out of the country when they collected the orders so never saw them, and his father (my Ex) didn't order anything. His father didn't order graduation photos either, so I ordered the minimal package that gives me enough pictures to have one for myself and one to send to each set of grandparents.

To me, graduation is one of those life passages that needs to be recognized. Am I just old-fashioned? On the other hand, I don't buy into the consumerism that surrounds all of these life events and don't necessarily want to spend a lot of money.

What I'm thinking of doing is purchasing some high-quality blank cards at a stationary store next May and printing up about a dozen announcements on my good printer. I'd make just enough for my son to send to his immediate family - aunts, uncles, and grandparents on both my side and his father's side of the family.

What do those of you with high school graduates do?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I have a daughter, 20, who dropped out but went back to get her GED. We didn't do anything to celebrate her graduation since she went about it that way. I have a son that will graduate next year, God willing. I just asked him if we could have a party and he said yes, he wanted a big cake that said " It's @#$$%^%ing over!!!!".
It has been such a struggle getting him through school with his learning disabilities that when he graduates there most certainly be a party! I think you should do what you want to do. I think it is not only a milestone in the graduate's life but one in the parent's life as well. It is something to be celebrated and I look forward to it. I think what we will do is have a BBQ. We don't have much family left but we do have friends that will celebrate with us.....go for it mom and have a wonderful time.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi believer,
No worries, we're going to have a celebration when my son actually graduates. I believe in celebrating all kinds of milestones. The most recent was a big batch of brownies to celebrate an excellent SAT score. I bake cakes, cookies, brownies, or make a favorite meal, all sorts of things to make my son feel special.

So the celebration isn't really the question. The question is about the formality of sending a graduation announcement to relatives who live across the country (I didn't mention that no one in my family or my son's father's family lives nearby).

Thanks for your thoughts.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 2 cents, you should send them. I'm sure you could find some nice card stock and print them yourself. Another option, visit a store that has those catalogs, sample pages, and orders printed wedding invitations. They will also have samples of graduation announcements to order. A party supply or stationary store would have them. There might be a separate book, or a section in the book. Maybe you'll find something to just order through them, or at least get some ideas about making your own. Some places discount the list price in the book. Look around. It will only take a couple weeks to get them back, so you have plenty of time.

Either way, send them. They are the kind of keepsake that you can not replace later.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know that Walgreens and Walmart and other stores have photo cards. I am sure they have graduation ones. You can add a picture and have the writing printed on there and it is pretty reasonably priced.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would order them for him. Sometimes while experiencing all that growing up our children still like to know we are there looking after them. They really want us to order the cards, and have the party and make the day special. We, as their parent or parents should show them how proud we are of them. NO, he hasn't graduated from college, but high school these days holds a lot more temptations than ever and peer pressure is hard to deal with-graduation from High School is a big step, and I think all of the steps should be celebrated to let them know they are loved and we are proud of them. I understand why he didn't order these things-he wants you to, it's like asking for a hug (in a masculine way)...isn't it great to know you are still needed, when you look at that great man and he wants and needs your love. How wonderful-I sure miss those times, they were the best! Take care and ENJOY!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am going to throw another thought into the ring for consideration. When I graduated, my parent's would not let me send announcements to anyone other than close family. They felt that it was begging for money and gifts, and people felt pressured to send something.

Now as an adult, I have heard other adults talking about this and complaining that they got a graduation announcement from a kid who they barely know. Basically, the kid of someone they work with, or the kid of someone they sort of know socially, but would not actually classify them as a friend. We have gotten announcements from the kid of someone my husband works with, and we would not know the kid if he rang the doorbell. Or a kid we have not seen in 10 years, now sending an announcement?????????

Parents who allow this........what are you thinking????????

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My guess is that it's not the parents "allowing" it. It's the parents giving the kid a list and telling the kid to send the announcements to the people on the list. Or even the parents sending the announcements out themselves, and the kid not being involved. When I was a teenager, I wouldn't have known the addresses of my parent's co-workers, old friends, or acquaintances unless they were parents of my friends.

Mind you, it wouldn't have occurred to me to send a gift if someone sent me a graduation announcement. Are you really supposed to send a gift if you get one? And does the same rule apply to baby announcements? I thought you only gave a gift if you went to the party/shower, not otherwise. Have I been rude without knowing it all these years?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL. If receiving an announcement in the mail is a hint for a gift/money, I didn't get it. But I'm slow that way. ;o) I might be mildly interested, or think "Wow! Joey's graduating, can't believe it!" If it was someone really out-of-the-woodwork, I'd think "Why would they send me this?" and pitch it. It hadn't occurred to me that the reason was so I knew where to send the check. I guess sometimes it is, and sometimes it's just a relieved parent shouting from the rooftops.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm on the side of the fence that feels that sending a graduation announcement is a tacky demand for a gift. Sorry. But if you cannot invite someone to the actual event (limited tickets) or to a celebration/party at your home afterwards, sending an announcement is just a way of telling them that you expect them to give a gift for an event you didn't care enough about them to invite to. Not cool, IMO. Those who know and care about your son, KNOW he's graduating--they don't need a fancy, engraved piece of paper to tell them that.

You meet all kinds of people in this world, of course. I'm one who--if I'm sent an announcement but not invited to the actual festivities (wedding, graduation, etc)--just tosses the announcement without giving a gift. However, if I wasn't insulted that way, I often DO give a gift even if I'm not invited--I do understand that there are limited seats at these things. Just a thought....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guess you have to know your family and your intentions. I can see the point. My own family would not take it as a request for money, they would be happy to share the good news and glad I thought of them even though they are far away and cannot attend the festivities.

I didn't think of it in all contexts, but I can think of a couple of DH relatives who would respond by sending money, even though they haven't seen our DS in 12 years. But I would feel rude to send to my aunts/uncles and not his to avoid implying an obligation to send money.

We did receive a wedding invitation from one of DH's former co-workers, for a wedding in Maine in November. We hadn't seen the man in 3 years, and probably would not have attended the wedding if it were local. Naturally, it let us know where they were registered. I actually did feel like that was fishing for gifts, send invites to people who aren't really a part of your life and you know won't come. I had a college roommate who sent 400 invites to a wedding in a church that held 300. When I said "What?!" She said, "Well, most of them won't come, but they'll send a gift." Now that's just tacky.

I guess it depends on the person and the situation.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

my step grandson chose not to go through the graduation ceremony. i was proud that he had the nerve to buck tradition and do what he wanted. i don't think he mother did though. LOL

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with bnicebkind. Unless I knew the child very well I would view it as a grab for gifts.

This is the way I view it...I know the ongoing events in the lives of the kids I'm close to, I would expect to be invited to (and would attend) their graduation (birthday, etc.) parties. If I don't know about the coming event already (without announcement) then I don't think I'm close enough to send an announcement. The only reason to send the announcement is to tell people that don't know the kid that well that he is graduating. Why bother? I do agree it might be nice to send them to people close to the child that would like the momento. Although if there is a party the invitation would serve the same purpose.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

although we certainly celebrated DD's graduation we didn't make a a big fuss. DD does not like a big fuss. she didn't have a party, didn't want one. she of course went to a ceremony.

although i ordered graduation announcements we didn't send them out. so it was a waste of money, but i didn't think straight when i ordered them.

DD was only allowed small numbers of guests at actual commencement, so only close family members. and they all knew without formal cards.

i ordered pictures and we send them to every family member. we also took some pics of actual commencement. I made DD agraduation album with all the pics and all the awards and rewards she got. although she acted like she didn't care about graduating, she was excited to see the album.

yes it is appropriate to make some nice cards and send to a family. why not?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I graduated (which wasnt that long ago) we sent out grad announcements. I have a HUGE family and an even bigger extended family of friends spread across the US. Things like grad announ, emails, x mas cards and the such are the only way we stay in touch sometimes...

At the time I had no idea that I would be getting anything from anyone. I was proud of graduating with honors and my parents were proud that their oldest had graduated. I think it is nice to do so. It was simply impossible to invite the whole enormous clan to the actual graduation. There were limited tickets for each graduate. It took some work just to get enough tickets for immediate family (which is about up to 20 now) to go. I put in each announcement that we were having celebration and what date knowing full well these people probably werent coming but again... I was proud. And if they could come I would have been thrilled.

I did end up getting a large chunk of money out of it though. I was so happy...and so grateful. I had been saving up for college and moving out and it was nice to have family and friends chip in and gave me a very good cushion.

Sometimes people and parents are just proud of their accomplishments and I really dont think it should be viewed as a grab for gifts. I guess their are some people out there like that but I choose to think they are like me or my parents ...proud of their child or themselves.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 2:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

WOW- Great Point mom of 4! I agree-I think parents do need to let their children and other family members know they are proud. That's what it's all really about, you just send out announcements with that thought on your mind. If someone doesn't see it that way they haven't been watching you or your families words and actions, or they would know. Again, great point!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone for weighing in - it's been great to read your responses!

I admit that one concern I had with sending announcements was that it would seem to be a grab for gifts, which is not what I or my son would want. I don't think my family would see it that way, but I can't be sure about my ex's family. They don't send DS gifts on his birthday or at holidays anyway, so I don't think they'd feel obligated to send anything for graduation. I do think that the appropriate response to any kind of announcement like this is a card with good wishes, which is what I would hope for on behalf of my son.

The actual graduation at DS's school is sort of unusual, at least compared to my own (long-ago) high school experience. There is no limit to the number of people who can attend (friends & family sit on the football field, seniors are in the stands) and so there's no issue of tickets, or of only inviting Aunt Sue but not Uncle Joe. Immediately after the ceremony, the new graduates are whisked away to a Grad Night party planned by the senior parents at a secret location. They're there all night and from what I've heard, it's loads of fun. So what this means is that any festivities that family members might want to have to celebrate graduation must be done at a different time. I can just imagine DS's grandparents flying all the way across the country and then not getting to see the new graduate, either right after the ceremony or because he's sound asleep the entire next day! (I think this is a pretty humorous image, but don't worry - I'd tell the grandparents what the schedule was ahead of time). We'll find a way to celebrate as a family, either before or after the actual graduation date.

Having said all that, I don't think anyone receiving an announcement will actually fly across the country to attend the ceremony, and I'm terribly proud of my sweet son and want to share his accomplishment with his relatives.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 12:05AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need iOS app for my kids.
I bought an iPad for my kids. Please guys suggest me...
Mothers of estranged children....part II
I thought it might ease the posting if I restarted...
Nearly 10wks pregnant & have questions
This is my first pregnancy at 24. I don't have many...
Please help me!
I have been dating my boyfriend for about 2 years....
A harness for a child that old ?
Looking for a safety harness to keep an escapist toddler...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™