It’s hard to believe that graduation is upon us. It is a wonderful time of year to celebrate the accomplishments of those who have worked tirelessly to fulfill a dream. Whether they are moving on from middle school, high school or college, graduates and their families look forward to commencement ceremonies, parties and meaningful gifts to commemorate the occasion.
If you are invited to any of the graduation festivities, a gift is in order even if you cannot attend. Finding the perfect gift, however, can be difficult. This is especially true if you don’t know the graduate well or if you want to gift something more personal than money. Appropriate gifts for high school graduates may differ slightly from college graduates. So, what can you do to find a gift that is personal, meaningful and within your budget?
I recommend that if you know the parents of the graduate, reach out and contact them for ideas. While it is unusual, some may even be registered at a store, which will provide you with a list of items that they desire. Also, many retail stores have a graduate section from which you can choose gifts. The problem with this choice is that you are not sure if it is a gift that the graduate would like or can use. Generic gift ideas for high school or college graduates include; Echo Dot, Apple Air Pod, Cookware, Fitbit, Uber subscription, inspirational keychain or stationery.
High school students, if heading off to college, can use items to decorate or furnish their dorm room. Luggage or weekender bags are great gift ideas. If you know the college they will be attending, an item from their new school is also a good choice and is usually available online.
College graduates will be preparing for their new career, so items such as business card holders, a portfolio, a nice writing instrument or picture frames make nice, yet professional gifts. A more modern gift could include online wardrobe box subscriptions such as Stitch Fix or Le Tote.
There are a plethora of ideas to choose the right graduation gift. If you are still in doubt, gift cards or cash are always a safe choice, although, I believe it is better to give a gift card than a gift the person may not like or find useful. Make sure to give yourself enough time to shop and enjoy your search for the ideal gift choice for your graduate.
Linda J. Williams, M.Ed. is a certified etiquette consultant. For more information, visit www.etiquetteandwritingconsultancy.com or call 516-510-7971.