Graduation Gifts They’ll Remember

Graduation Gifts They’ll Remember

What to give the graduate in your life? We take you to gift-giving school with these cool ideas.

Sure, cash is king, and sliding a check or a few bills into a card is easy for you and appreciated by the recipient. But why not try to bring a smile of delight to the face of the college grad in your life, or even the most jaded teen leaving high school, by presenting a gift that comes packaged with personal thought? The key to giving something that’ll truly be treasured is to consider the grad’s personality and proclivities. Below are some memorable ways to think outside the traditional gift box this graduation season.

The sports fan

For the grad who has never met a bat, ball, stick, or racquet he didn’t love, game tickets and sports memorabilia are winning choices. For the high school graduate heading to a sports-centric university, order gear from her new college. College graduates short on cash would appreciate a gym membership or sessions with a trainer. A supertechy sports watch, like the AdidasmiCoach, is great for runners, as is a truly drop-proof case from LifeProof for smart phones. And for the sports fan who never wants to miss a game, consider a subscription to satellite radio, through which you can listen to college and pro games.  

The adventure seeker

Grads with immediate post-diploma travel plans will be grateful for gifts that ease their way as they go—or make it more fun. If he’s headed on a long trip, go practical with a sturdy backpack that won’t fall apart midway through the journey. A writerly traveler who plans to blog about his adventures will appreciate your footing the cost for a domain name and a year of Web hosting (such as on Bluehost). A kid heading someplace with iffy water supplies might benefit from the ease of the SteriPEN water purifier. If she’s planning to record the journey with pictures, splurge on a camera such as the Canon PowerShot S100: it’s GPS-enabled, so she won’t forget where certain shots were taken. Finally, make reading while traveling long distances easier with an e-reader and gift certificates for downloadable books.

The arts aficionado

Check out summer listings for concerts, theater, and dance performances, and give the grad who loves live shows a pair of tickets. Better yet, create a gift pack containing tickets (a museum show, a play, a dance performance) and some gift cards for local restaurants (such as Panera Bread®) for before or after the show. If she prefers the visual arts, you can frame a favorite print or give her items emblazoned with a beloved artist’s work. Museum memberships are also a good idea. Is he more hands-on? Treat him to a painting, drawing, or music class, and buy him some supplies. 

The nostalgic grad

Give a sentimental high-schooler the tools to capture and save her favorite high school memories and memorabilia. For example, with a scrapbook and photo frames, she can bring her friends to her college dorm. Does your grad’s photo stash exist entirely on Instagram? Prinstagram lets her create books or calendars from favorite photos on the popular app. The sad-to-leave-college grad might enjoy a painting of his favorite campus building: through a service such as WhataPortrait, he can upload a photograph that will be used to create a painting or charcoal drawing. Instant new-apartment art. Good group gift: enlist a handful of close friends and family to write letters to the graduate, and put them all together in their original form in a pretty box or scan them and create a book via an online service like Shutterfly