Thursday, May 12, 2011

Graduation gifts? : : Anne McAllister

I'm late today. My apologies. I've been preparing for the last class of the semester of a course that I teach in family history research, and I just got back -- feeling pleased because all my students are excited and eager and looking forward to doing lots of work on the internet and on research trips this summer. And now I feel like I've dropped the ball.

That's because I am getting less and less good at multi-tasking apparently. Or maybe it's because the weather is all of a sudden 90 degrees and I'm left wondering, What happened to spring? Anyway, sometimes life gets away from me (and so do blogs apparently) and this was one of those times.

So since I've come unprepared (because I'm also making 200 brownies for the graduation party of my oldest grandson whose party is this weekend), I need to ask your advice.

What do you get a charming, talented, clever, smart, athletic high school senior for his graduation?

Bear in mind that whatever we get him, we're setting a precedent. There are seven more grandkids following in his footsteps -- so far. What we do for one, we need to comparably do for all the others in some fashion or other. So, yachts are out. So are trips to Hawaii and other mega-costly things.

I know cash is always an option -- and there will probably be a bit of that.

But cash comes and it goes and then you don't have anything to think back on and remember that Grandma and Grandpa gave that to you when you graduated from high school.

I know this for a fact because I remember two things that people gave me when I graduated from high school. An aunt and uncle gave me some luggage because I was going away to college (he's not going that far). And my great-aunt Martha gave me a lovely wool blanket I still have.

Every time I put in on the bed in the winter, I think of Aunt Martha. Mostly I think of her because my cousin got married two weeks after my graduation and she didn't give him and his new wife a wedding present at all. When my grandmother asked (grandma was blunt) why, Aunt Martha said, speaking from experience, "Well, you only graduate from high school once. You can get married plenty of times!"

So . . . bearing that in mind, I'd like to get him something he'll remember fondly, even if he doesn't have the crazy family story to go with it that I do.

Help, please!!


Lolarific said...

Why not a little bit of money combined with something personalized? Things Remembered has some good graduation gifts for him that can be personalized. Like the globe. Something beautiful that you can engrave with "Conquer the world!" or "The world is at your fingertips" that he'll always want to keep and could be displayed somewhere in his future house. Every time he passes it he'll think of you and this time in his life and how you support him on his journey.

ev said...

What's he going to college for? Anything in particular?

Anne McAllister said...

Lolarific, Good suggestions. Thank you. I'll check out the place you recommended.

Ev, he's dreaming of professional sports -- and he's a very good athlete, but that's a real long shot as we all know. I don't know that he's chosen a major yet. I'll talk to him about it at the party tomorrow. Then by graduation, next week, I'll have a better idea.

Thanks to both of you.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anne,

Like you I would need more information
in order to make a good choice. I usually give an amount to the young person's college fund.

I do still have three gifts given me
for my HS graduation back in the ancient days: a mirrored face powder compact, a brass crucifix, and a beautiful olive wood statue of the Blessed Mother brought from Rome.

Diana said...

how about a very nice wallet? I got one for my high school graduation and kept it for over 20 years.

marybelle said...

My mother gave all the Grandchildren a leather document wallet/briefcase upon entering the grown-up world. Useful and they will have it always.

Caroline said...

How about a watch? He'll remember his "time" at college/school as being some of the best days of his life. Maybe a sports watch since he is going to be doing sports? BTW it is always hard to think of a suitable gift isn't it? Caroline x

Jo's Daughter said...

I was given some money and used it to buy new clothes and 2 pairs of shoes. I needed a more adult, professional look. Still have a picture of the new clothes. Don't think "kids" today care for a new outfit. Gosh this IS difficult.

Maybe you can frame a special picture plus emotional letter about this BIG moment in his life & your hopes about his future. Even if he doesn't care for it now later it can be something to treasure. Add some money to the letter. When he sees something that he loves he can get it & will still remember it was bought with the money for his graduation.

Better yet, take a picture with the later bought item and frame THAT one with the letter...

Michele L. said...

I would maybe put together a photo album of all his special events leading up to the big day. It is always nice taking a trip down memory lane. :-)

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bjs said...
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Anne McAllister said...

Thanks, everyone, for great ideas! It is hard to decide.

I like the watch idea, Caroline. And we did it for our own boys.

Jo's daughter, the letter is a great idea -- and I'll be sure to write one to him. When he was little we wrote a book together. I might have to dig it out again and give it to him. And the 'grown-up' clothes are not a bad idea, either!

We ended up, as Diana suggested, getting him a very nice leather wallet that we hope will last for years. And we tucked in some cash. Marybelle, your mother had the same sort of idea -- the wallet will be around long after the money has been spent.

So we are all set for graduation on Sunday. The party last weekend was great. Now for the serious stuff!