Graduation Gifts: Cash or Presents?

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By • Jun 15th, 2011 • Category: Editor En Route Feature

As the summer approaches, the end of the school year is coming to a close. Graduation for many high schoolers and college students are underway. A chapter in their book of Life is closing but another one is about to start! How to describe what every parent and graduate is feeling…. Denial. Well, and excitement, of course! Did I forget to mention panic? Panic! What do I get my daughter? My son? My family friend’s daughter? What about my best friend? Should I just stick with Cash? Should I make it more personal? Decisions, Decisions!

Money is always a great way to go because the graduate can decide what to spend it or they have the option to save it. However, a check is less personal so here are some ideas if you want to get a gift instead of giving cash. Each of these options is something that the graduate will need in times to come!

Big Ticket Items (Price is no object)

  • Vacation or travel tour
  • Car
  • Money
  • Laptop computer
  • Cell phone complete with a paid plan
  • Furniture – Great gift for the college graduate who is moving out of mom and dad’s house.
  • Small refrigerator – A very useful gift for the teen who will be living in a dorm room at college.

Mid-Priced Items (Priced $51 – $250)

  • Briefcase
  • Clothing gift card
  • Watch
  • Microwave
  • Set of luggage
  • A package from a resume writing service – Excellent gift for the teen who will be looking for a job or a college graduate.
  • Camera
  • Television
  • DVD player
  • IPod
  • Recorder and cassettes for lectures
  • Bookshelf
  • Pure gold or silver coin with graduate year on it
  • Stereo
  • Tool box with basic tools
  • Engraved jewelry
  • Personalized graduation item
  • Money tree
  • Money clip or even make it an engraved money clip complete with money
  • Wallet with some money

Economical Gifts (Priced under $50)

  • Book about future field of study or career
  • Devotional
  • Self-help Book
  • Inspirational book
  • Photo album filled with memories
  • Address book filled with friend’s addresses and phone numbers
  • Fill a laundry basket with laundry soap, fabric softener or dryer sheets, roll of quarters and directions on how to separate your laundry – Perfect gift for the teen who is moving out or going to college.
  • A piece of luggage
  • Resume writing books
  • Set of sheets
  • Picture frames with pictures of high school years
  • Organizer or planner
  • Desk accessories
  • Umbrella
  • Iron
  • Coffee maker
  • Hot pot

Some Great Books to Give A College Graduate:

1.    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

2.    The Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

3.    When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates to Know by Nancy Barry

4.    What They Don’t Teach You In College: A Graduates Guide To Life After College by James M. Kramon

5.    The Last Lecture By Randy Pausch

6.    The Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide: Figuring Out Who You Are, What You Want, & Where You’re Going After College by Marcos Salazar

7.    Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

For College Students Off To Conquer the World at a New Job and for New College Students Needing to Carry All of those Heavy Books, a Briefcase is Perfect!



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