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Graduation Gift and Etiquette Guide

Posted by Julian Torres, "JT" on May 15, 2019 10:52:11 PM


Graduation Gift and Etiquette Guide

Graduation gifting can be stressful because of the rarity and intensity of the moment. It’s an important life event that doesn’t happen every day, which means the pressure to find the right gift can get real heavy really fast.

But fear not, because there are some simple guidelines specifically designed for this big moment.

1. Keep It Simple
A gift can say as much about the giver as it does to the receiver, so choosing the right gift (or the right amount of gift) can be simple or difficult. Traditional graduation gifts can include lovely objects like jewelry, practical items like wallet or purses, and anything that ties into a specific memory shared by the giver and graduate. For example, if the graduate played Little League ball with the giver, an ideal gift might be an autographed baseball or game tickets. That doesn’t mean the ball needs to be autographed by Babe Ruth, by the way.

2. It’s a Gift, Not a Golden Ticket
If finding a gift seems stressful, take a breath and relax. The ideal gift depends almost entirely on the giver’s relationship to the graduate. As such, an old family friend might be inclined to keep the gift within the $10 to $50 range. $50 also works for siblings, cousins, or other close relatives, but going higher might be a good idea. Keep in mind that no one should feel obligated to break the bank just to give the graduate something pretty. If the budget doesn’t allow for more than $10-$50, then give what can be given and do so gladly.

3. Try Combining Ideas
But if you find yourself stumped, try combining something pretty with something practical. If the graduate has further education plans like college or grad school, a personalized pen or money clip might be a fine idea. Jewelry generally always works, but try a locket with a personal message or a bracelet that won’t look out of place at their next step in life.

4. Offer Up an Event
Keep in mind that a gift doesn’t have to be something physical. Taking the graduate to a concert or on a road trip to someplace they’ve always wanted to go also count, and such offerings have the added benefit of potentially creating new bonding opportunities between the giver and the graduate. Even if the trip ends at a familiar fishing spot or to some new pizza restaurant on the other side of town, it’s still quality time for everyone involved.

5. Consider Throwing a Party
We know, we know; party planning also tends to be stressful, probably more than buying a gift. But even a small gathering of friends and family can provide good memories for everyone involved, especially the graduate. Plus, graduate parties have the unique distinction of being the one party where the guest of honor doesn’t have to stay for. If the graduate wants to go say thank you to everyone before heading out with friends, that’s acceptable; it can give the guests a chance to celebrate how much the graduate has grown.

Whatever you decide, remember it’s all about the graduate, so do it with pride and love.

-Personalized drink ware (coffee and travel mugs or drinking glasses)
-Personalized bobble-head dolls
-Money cake (like a diaper cake, but with dollar bills)
-Desk toppers and paperweights
-Gourmet gift baskets (popcorn, beef jerky, fruit, beer, etc)

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