Tis’ the season. The season of celebrating graduates!
With high school coming to a close for our oldest girl, we are definitely in celebration mode. Celebration to me is a whole lot of love, sentimentality, gift giving, wonderful parties and a few special moments. It is honoring the accomplishments of our grad as well as preparing our oldest one for the next stage.
Gift giving can be difficult during this season of life. You may want to give something more memorable or special than the ol’ tried and true gift of money. You may want to provide something practical for the next stage of their life. You may want to gift something special and inspirational. Or you may simply want to give the gift of fun.
No matter the kind of gift you are focusing on, here is a guide to help inspire you. Also, shhhhh, these may or may not be gifts our grad will receive.
1| Essential Bath Tote – Dorm life is the life. It is literally a coming of age moment for a recent high school grad new to college. Moving into dorms. Having a stranger as a roommate for the the first time. Sharing a community bathroom. Learning to live in a small space with limited storage. What is more practical than a bathroom tote with all the pockets? Purchase one from PB Teen and get the tote personalized with your grads name. Fill it with a few of your favorite bath essentials and add a gift card to Target so your grad can pick their own bath favorites as well.
2| Ultimate Hanging Toiletry Case – While you’re on PB Teen’s website, grab another essential item … a hanging toiletry case. There are shower needs and there are bathroom / getting ready needs. A tote perfect for face wash and lotions, makeup and deodorants, toothbrushes and toothpastes is another incredible gift to give. Help your grad keep organized and access to essentials handy.
3| Transportation / Razor A5 Kick Scooter – Campuses are large. Huge actually. And getting from class to class can be an epic adventure. Especially during the early years when some students don’t have their degree selected. English in one corner of campus, Geology in another. Get your grad a mode of transportation. Skateboard, bike or scooter, help them travel between classes with ease.
4| Gift Card Bouquet – No longer a child, not yet an adult on their own. College students live on the cusp of being fully on their own and occasionally having, needing and wanting help. Depending on each students financial and familial support, they could very well be on their own. There is no better gift than the gift of money in these early years of experiencing the “real world”. However, take it up a notch and create a gift card bouquet. Include Visa’s for generic purchases such as gas. Purchase a gift card to your grads local grocery store (mere blocks from their college where maybe they can ride their gifted transportation) and gift them grocery money. Select a few local restaurants and of course a Target gift card for essentials such as toothpaste. Maybe include the movie theater too! Give the gift of local experiences and money to your favorite grad.
5| A Computer – When I graduated high school my parents got me my first Dell Desktop. These days desktops aren’t hip or practical for college campus living. With so much school work occurring in Google Docs, make sure your grad has the ability to do their work on the go and take their work anywhere. After spending years sharing a computer at home with the whole gang, what a great grad gift, the gift of a laptop for freedom to work and create with ease.
1| Motivational Book(s) – Pick one, any one, or a few for that matter. Give the gift of personal development to your grad. If they are a “reader” gift them some incredible books that will help mentally prepare them for the journey ahead. Girl, Wash Your Face, The Miracle Morning, How to Love Yourself, etc. College is the first time in your grads life that all of their decisions and choices are their own, give them the gift of seeking deeper understanding of who they are and who they want to become.
2| Journal + Pens – Because college students need a place for all of their new experiences, emotions and adventures. Leaving the nest for the first time may also mean leaving your net for the first time. Gifting grads a journal and pens allows them to express feelings, fears and excitements somewhere, when those they used to tell everything to aren’t near or aren’t available. Journaling is an incredible outlet to gift.
3| Photo Grid Memories – For the sentimental grad, give the gift of memories. Having memories of wonderful times and incredible people is sometimes all the motivation one needs to stay on track and stay focused on a goal. Help your grad transition into their new world with a few memories from home. Give a frame to look upon when they may be lonely or excited or simply tired of the workload. The gift of happy memories is a wonderful thing.
4| Visual Inspiration – Who doesn’t love a good quote? Who doesn’t love being motivated by words. Ok, so maybe some folks don’t. But, visual inspiration and motivation for grads is another great way to help inspire a new college student. Find a quote that represents your grad, print, frame and gift it. Those dorm room walls need a little personal touch.
5| A Blingy Memento – Whether you are the grads best friend or family member … give the gift of a memento she can wear always to remember you by. Mom to daughter. Aunt to God child. Best friend to best friend. Give the gift of bling. Dogeared through Nordstroms will also allow you to add a little inspirition to your gift, selecting a pendant with the reminder you think your grad needs.
1| Gift in a Jar – Give the gift of fun! Whether it’s a dorm room movie night, spa on the go, ice cream sundae bar or even school supplies in a jar, give the gift of a jar full of joy. Pull together all the pieces of something, anything really, in a fun jar. It’s two-fold – the grad can enjoy the contents and gain a jar for storage in their new dorm room. What fun, opening a jar and exploring all the bits and bobs included.
2| Grad Coupons – Remember when you were little and you gave your mom a coupon book filled with “things”. Hugs, dishes, snuggles, etc. Gift your grad a coupon book. Fill it with a whole lot of fun summer adventures for making memories together before he / she heads off to college. Dinner at your favorite restaurant. Ice cream sundae run. Spa day with mom. Movies with sissies. Etc. Fill the coupon book with their favorite things so that they can make memories in the months before they leave for college.
3| Family Breakfast Station – So ridiculously neat! Help your grad win the coolest dorm room accessory award and purchase them a family breakfast station. Nope, it’s not practical. Nope, it’s not inspirational. It’s cheeky and fun and something she / he may need immediately. Toaster, griddle and coffee pot (hot water heater upper for tea or cocoa) – I mean, come on. Awesome!
4| Adventure – Take your grad to the local water park or to the local watering hole. Gift your grad an experience, a final family memory. Sure, y’all will and forever be family, but family events and occasions look a bit different as your grad grows up. Schedule a family adventure filled with ice cream cones, musical play lists, moments that create incredible memories and a little fun to boot. Pack the camera and the pool float and make memories this coming summer.
5| Money Honey – Ok, so I know I started this post implying gifts needed to go beyond money, but, let’s be real, every grad just wants money. Money they can spend as they feel fit. So, if you’re going to gift money, get creative. Find ways to make the gift of money a tad more fun. Make origami money grad caps, fill a grad balloon, make a money book. Do something epic and wonderful and special for your grads big day!
Whether your grad is a gal or a guy, take the time to think through something magical and memorable for them. Take the time to put your heart into a gift and give your grad something fabulous for their epic day!
** This blog post is not an ad. These are my opinions and my opinions alone. Simply, I love giving gifts and ensuring my recipient is surprised and delighted. **
Um, I would have given anything for that breakfast station when I was in college.
My dear friend’s Grandma gave me a pink fancy pen with my name engraved on it and I still have it. It came in a pink, leather holder. It’s here in MX with me and I love it.
Sigh… yay for thoughtful gifts.