Graduation Gift Suggestions
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Graduation Gift Suggestions
My daughter is graduating BHS next month and I am
wondering if there is a protocol for graduation gift
giving to her friends. There are a couple of kids we are
very close to as a family but this is a really expensive
time and giving out more cash isn't in the cards. Do
people expect to get a little something from everyone they
send announcements to? Does anyone have other non-monetary
ideas to acknowledge this great accomplishment?
Why do you feel you have to give graduation gifts? Graduating from high school is
pretty basic, almost everyone does it so it's actually not that big an achievement.
Sending announcements to anyone other than relatives sounds like asking for money for
having done what he/she was supposed to have done. If you want to acknowledge it, do so
with a card but forget the money.
When our kids had multiple friends graduating from High School,I bought photo albums
with the school colors of the colleges they were going to. Then I added
''friends''hearts, sayings stickers, etc to go with the album. That gave them a fun way
to start college and a place to start journalling their new adventures!
This seemed more personal than a gift card and something they could use and the cost
wasn't so obvious.
Barbara H, Party Planner
Since you know these soon-to-be graduates well, how about a sincere note with mention
of what you appreciate about them and expression of hopes for their future. Something
up beat and hopefull to help them move into thefuture with hope and self assurance.
Your sincere positive thoughts are what will stick with them most.
We are going with a personalized calendar. A copy store on upper Solano Avenue will
take photos of our daughter's pets off a CD and print them on a ring-bound college-year
calendar. They will even pre-mark the calendar with family birthdays, beginning and end
of semesters, etc.
Congrats to the grad.
In today's world where every kid has everything I would appreciate ideas
for high school graduation gifts not for your own child but for other
students. (Yes -- I'm trying to think ahead!) My son is graduating in
June along with a number of his friends who we have known since they were
in k'garten. Ideas for anything from small tokens to gifts in the $20 -
$30 range would be great. Thanks.
I've gone on Yelp to find the best pizza place near the college the
senior is going to attend and then I get a gift certificate for
them. You have to do this ahead of time but it's a nice thing to
give a freshperson who can then invite out new dorm buddies. if
they're not going to college, then something useful, related to what
they'll be doing next.
Gifts are good
I am the parent of a college freshman - I gave a number of my
daughters' friends a graduation card that indicated they would receive
a care package at college of home baked cookies. I've just sent them
off this week with hope that they will enjoy the sweet taste of
Need graduation gift ideas (something special for a daughter)
My son had written several books during his years at school, so I took
the best ones and self-published at Blurb.com and lulu.com -- not
expensive at all, but he really liked it in a nostalgic way. You could
also use shutterfly to make a photo book to take to school.
Or of course you buy him/her a BMW...
Jewelry is nice-small diamond earrings, or a pearl necklace, something
special. you can get nice things for less than $100
An Apple laptop is recommended by most UCs (better security).
Spring for the extra $99 and get the three-year subscription to Lo-
Jack for Mac so that when the laptop is stolen, it can be traced
electronically by the police, and recovered.
Boy are we sorry we didn't
My dearest friend will soon be graduating from nursing school. I want to get her a
meaningful, useful gift as she launches her second career. Any suggestions?? Thanks!
Why not get her something she will use a pair of scrubs! I
believe nurses have to buy their own anyways, might as well show
your support and give her something she will use. You could also
buy a pair of comfy shoes. Nurses love those!
How about getting her something she will use for work? Framing
her diploma might be nice and you can pick out the frame
together. That tells her you value her effort and education.
Does she need a head start on white lab coats? other clothes
for work? a good stethoscope?
You're a Good Mom
Some ideas at different price points:
1. A nice stethescope - Littman is a good brand with several
options at different price points. I bought myself
a ''Cardiology II'' when I graduated from nsg school 12 yrs ago,
and I still love it every day. Check for online retailers.
2. A really nice, big leather bag/purse - This one could run
you $300 or more. When I changed jobs a few years ago (to a
higher paying one), I treated myself to a great bag from Coach
that can hold files, reference books, wallet, cell, lunch bag
and water bottle - everything I carry to and from work every
day. I love it!
3. A nice massage/spa treatment - always a good gift, but esp
for a student/recent grad who may not choose to spend his/her
loan money or hard earned cash on pampering.
4. Funky socks - we have to wear socks to work (OSHA req, plus
it just makes sense), but they don't have to be boring!
Target, Old Navy, and the Gap often have interesting and
colorful options, but I'm esp excited about the socks I found
recently at a shoe store on 4th Street and at Heartfelt on
College Ave near Alcatraz. I'm sure there are many other
specialty shoe stores that stock funky socks.
5. Very emollient hand cream - I hesitated with this one
because I'm particular about what I use. I like unscented
(can't use scented products at work), and am partial to a drug
store brand that's not very ''gifty.'' I have also used and
enjoyed L'Occitane and Caswell Massey products, received as
gifts (and appreciated!). Just be really careful about the
Check out www.neshomanetwork.com It is a gift web site that has
beautiful different types of gifts. Some are by ''profession''
and if you don't see one for nursing, I'm sure they'll try to
get it for you. They really have gorgeous stuff and they are so
great to work with. Additionally, whenever you buy something,
they donate 10% to a charity of your choice. Love that site!
frequent gift buyer
My sister-in-law graduated from medical school last May and I am
still trying to find a gift for her. Does anyone have advice
about great gifts for med school grads? Did anyone receive a
gift that they loved and think other med school grads might love?
Thanks for your help.
One small item you could get is the Merck's Manual from 1899.
They recreated their first famous manual for the 100th
aniversary. It is so interesting to anyone in the medical
field. Liberal use of such lovely medicines like arsenic and
mercury for all kinds of ailments. Also, TRUE SPIRIT OF ANTS
and the Manual helpfully explains ''From ants'' Hilarious. Shows
how far we've come and also how far we have to go I suppose.
You can probably buy it here http://www.merck.com/pubs/ although
I just had a quick look and didn't see it. I have a copy if you
can't buy it from Merck.
You could also give her some money. Just out of med school
usually means big loans and small pay at least for a few years.
That's what she needs most. Maybe ask your brother first if he
thinks she would be fine with getting money.
Probably cash, to help her pay off her med school loans? Seriously.
I think it's lovely you're thinking so hard about sister's med
school graduation gift. When I graduated med school, sister
gave me nothing, and since parents had given me an expensive
wooden university logo armchair for college graduation which I
consider to be an albatross, I bought an expensive set of
cookware on sale and told my parents it was from them, so they
sent me a check.
So, for me, the typical ''graduation'' gifts would have been a
waste, but a gift that was both practical and was for a
favorite hobby meant a lot.
If you can afford it ( or arrange a group gift), I would buy her
a medical textbook of her choice. Just ask her which one she
wants and go get it at the UCSF Bookstore. Call first to see if
it is in stock, and, if it isn't, they can order it for you. Be
prepared for a price tag of $100-150. If you go with your kid(s)
and partner, they can play at the new Golden Gate Park playground
while you take a 20 minute stroll to the bookstore and back.
I think that that would be VERY welcome and she would think of
you when she used it during residency and beyond.
I'm one of those people who stresses out over what gift to buy,
especially graduation and wedding gifts. Old family friends
have a daughter graduating from high school this June. We only
see them a few times a year, but we've watched the daughter grow
up. I'd like to get her something meaningful. Have you ever
given or received a grad gift that was especially creative,
meaningful, or thoughtful? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
I have bought a number of high school graduation gifts for
girls in the past. One of my favorites, as a gift for a 16
year old or as a graduation gift, is a Tiffany Key Chain. They
come in hearts and circles and have an ''if lost return to
Tiffany's'' on it. It comes in a Tiffanys box and is the most
inexpensive of all the items they sell. Another gift idea is a
Pearl on a Pendant with or without matching studs. There are a
number of jewlery stores in the area with sales going on right
now and you can get a very nice gift for a reasonable price.
How thoughtful of you! The best graduation (from college) gift
that I got, that was useful as well as meaningful was a Bosco
leather date-book, engraved with my intitials. That made me
feel so grown-up. And to this day, 18 years later, it is still
useful. I love that my aunt took the time to have it
personalized for me to commemorate a special occasion.
I'm having an 8th grade graduation party for my child. Half of
the guests will be her classmates who also are graduating (I've
told them not to bring gifts- the adults will do that). I want
to make my daughter feel special, but I also want to
acknowledge her fellow graduating classmates by giving each one
a gift/party favor.
Can anyone suggest a reasonably priced, but unique party
favor/gift that would appeal to 14 year old boys and girls? I
prefer to give something they'll remember, not just, for
instance, a gift certificate. Since about 15 will likely
attend, I don't want to spend more than $5 each. I thought
about a t-shirt with a class picture, but they aren't taking
the class picture until after the party. Thanks much for any
Maybe you could give a t-shirt with the class year and name on
it and have the kids sign each others' shirts with fabric
markers - the kind you don't have to iron afterward. You can
do the same with hats -- Target sells inexpensive ball-type hats
in plain colors. I don't know whether the kids would ever
actually wear the hats, but it would be a unique keepsake and
you can get pictures of them all wearing their hats or shirts.
I would suggest, however, that EVERYONE sign EVERYONE'S hat or
shirt so it doesn't become a popularity thing....
Oriental Trading Company has lots of fun party favor type of
gifts for grads. You may find something there check their
What about burning a CD for each student that has favorite
songs spanning their middle school career? You could design a
fun cover and use a CD stomper (your daughter knows all this
stuff, trust me!) to make them look professional. This gift
would most definitely be under your $5 limit.
A ''class of 2003'' picture frame!
Congratulations to your daughter!
It's that time of year and for the first time since my siblings
finished high school 10 years ago, I find myself invited to a
graduation. My yound cousin is college bound, probably a UC in
SoCal. What do I give as a modest gift? I'd rather not give
cash. The best gift I got at graduation was a hot-pot, but then
I needed it to supplement the dorm food which I detested. What
was the best gift you got? gave? Although I need ideas for a
young man, I'm sure many others here will be shopping for both
male and female graduates. Thanks!
We have two high school graduates among our friends, and they're
the first of a large ''crop''. I checked with parents and then got
gift cards for national stores--Bed, Bath & Beyond (figuring
they'll need linens, etc. to set up the home-away-from-home) and
the Gap (clothing for a new climate). Hope this helps. :-)
Try getting a gift certificate to the bookstore at the
university he plans to attend. You can find number on line and
order over the phone. It sounds like he has yet to decide, so
you can give him a gift certificate good for a gift certificate.
Though it was years ago, I still remember the best gradation
gift I received - a really good thesaurus. How do I remember
this? Because it served me well all through college and still
sits on my bookshelf. For the record, it is ''The Synonym
Finder'' (J.I. Rodale, pub Warner Books). I like its format
better than a traditional thesaurus, but just head to your
neighborhood bookshop and choose any one that you like.
A great gift for a college bound student who will be living in
the dorms is one of those 4 cup coffeemakers. Even if they don't
drink coffee, they use it for hot water for hot chocolate, cup-a-
soup, instant oatmeal,etc. I usually also give a large bowl size
coffee cup and silverware and a selection of tea, hot chocolate,
oatmeal packets. If you know they drink coffee, a packet of
filters is also good. These work great as many of the dorms will
not allow small microwaves and there are so many ''add hot water''
items that the kids live on.
Many college freshmen have this perhaps, but the best gift I
received was a huge, comprehensive Websters Dictionary when I
graduated. And just recently I purchased 2 contemporary CD's
for a neighbor's daughter who was graduating from college-I
figure they're almost all poor, but most appreciate good music!
My dad gives toolboxes (filled with basic tools -- hammer,
screwdrivers, tape measure, etc.). I used mine to hang pictures
on my dorm walls, and now, 20 years later, I still use it all
Try a Swiss Army knife or one of the Leatherman knives (the
Juice line is great). I've had one since high school and it
has traveled with me everywhere! Got lots of use out of the
wine and bottle opener in college I recall...
How about a Roth IRA contribution?
When I was a child, I got a lot of gifts. Many were very cool
like cars, toys or books. I had an uncle give me a very wierd
and very uncool gift of savings bonds. Ewww! Then I got to
college and man did those bonds come in handy. When I
graduated from college, the same uncle gave me some very uncool
things like stock and a retirement account contribution. I
really wanted a trip to Europe. Well, those toys lasted about
3 months when I was a kid and now I am glad I have a sizable
chunk for retirement (all from a little seed planted years
ago). If you are looking for a gift that will last a LOOONG
time, give them something uncool like a financial future.
There is nothing like time to let investments grow.
Talk to a professional to see what investment is best for your
this page was last updated: Aug 13, 2012
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