High School Graduation Gifting Tips and Ideas

April 7, 2014    |    By +
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Like clockwork, each school year ends with a new crop of graduating seniors and a stack of graduation party invitations to attend to. While we are all excited for this new group’s venture into college life, world travels or next step-of-choice, it gets tough knowing what is cool and appropriate to give to all of these graduates. So, here are some tips on what types of gifts are appropriate for all the high school graduates in your life and also a few suggestions on what’s great to give this year.

What is Appropriate?

Giving money for a high school graduation is totally okay and even encouraged. Starting college is a very expensive time in a person’s life and the expenses can be daunting.  Another great route to go is going in on a group gift with family members or close friends. This way you can collectively give something you know they really need, like a laptop computer or a nice bike they can ride around campus. With any gift, group or not, we highly recommend making sure to ask the parents or the graduate what items they need or want before making a purchase.

How Much to Spend?

If you are invited and attend a graduation ceremony or a graduation party than you must give some type of gift. If invited to a casual BBQ or get together but don’t attend, a thoughtful card is sufficient for people you aren’t extremely close to.  For close family we recommend spending $100 or over, for close friends $50 or over. If cash is tight, give something thoughtful and meaningful like a DIY dorm emergency kit. The sentiment will be appreciated.

Gift Ideas to Give:

Stretch Their Space

A teeny tiny dorm room requires some very crafty use of space. Consider useful gifts, like a charger that can juice up several gadgets at once, a desk top shelf to provide extra space, closet racks or a wall-mount bike rack.

Give Something Really Cool

Not everyone looks forward to giving cash or something uber practical for these big gifting occasions (think, the hip uncle or the all-time best friend.) If you can’t get into the idea of buying your BFF their first toaster, go the route of trying to find something really awesome. If they are into music, try a nice retro-styled turntable; it’s the type of gift that will be the talk of the dorms every Friday night and a go-to conversation starter for every new friend on campus.

Special Deliveries

For most college kids, it’s tough getting used to handling everything on their own, so give a gift that takes a few things off their plate. Sending them a College Care Package ($34.99) will show them you are thinking about them. The package comes with a mix of salty and sweet treats for late-night study snacks. Or send a monthly gift, like a pizza of the month club.

Visit Gifts.com for more high school graduation gift ideas.

Lindsay Roberts is a nationally known gift expert and founder of TheGiftInsider.com. She is regularly interviewed on gifting segments for network affiliates across the country. She has been featured on sites like E! Online and Forbes.com, and has been hired as a spokesperson and social media gift expert for national brands.



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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.