Author Topic: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette  (Read 9377 times)

ltt

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Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« on: April 23, 2016, 05:14:14 PM »
We have a son, as well as my cousin's daughter, graduating high school this year.  He has received invites to his friends'/classmates'  parties.  Do we send a small gift?  Cash?  In the past, whenever our sons have gone to graduation parties of kids who were older than them, we've sent anything from a nice pen/pencil set to money to a bag of candy.

Also, what about a friends' daughter who is graduating college?  She used to watch our kids when they were younger.  We don't see her much anymore as she has been away at school.  Do people give more for a college graduation or just a nice card??

What do you all do.  I typically do not budget for graduation gifts.

plainjane

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2016, 06:04:02 PM »
It is probably very location dependent, but if your son is being invited to friend's parties, he should know whether or not a gift is required.  Gifts would have been very weird when I graduated, because everyone attending the party was also graduating (unless it's bringing food/drink for everyone to enjoy at the gathering).  I'll say that this is a good time for you to step back and let him make his own call - you can ask, but not suggest one way or the other.

Your cousin's daughter & friend's daughter - I'd think a card is sufficient.  If you feel like being generous, a nice pen, or a paper notebook perhaps, but I find those to be so person-specific that you're just as likely to get it wrong.  Do you have a photo of her with the kids that you could insert into the card and have them sign it too?

Kitsune

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2016, 06:27:23 PM »
Probably very location/community dependant, so I'd suggest asking fri de with kids a year or two older...

From my experience: graduation parties are weird, and not a thing where I'm from. College grad was not a big deal (everyone was more concerned about moving and finding jobs). People made an inexplicably big deal about HS grad. Didn't really get presents, but some friends of my parents gave me "grown up jewelry" (pearl earrings, which I still wear regularly, and remember them every time). Id only suggest something like that if you're especially close to the kid - spend time with them regularly, without their parents, etc).

asiljoy

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2016, 07:08:06 PM »
Location dependent, but if you're not sure, a card with 5 dollars in it is always a nice hedge.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 07:08:53 AM »
I would just send cash in a card. But I certainly wouldn't do that for every party your son got invited to; but relatives and close friends would be a good cut-off for me.

GreenEggs

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 07:27:28 AM »
Giving a music CD might be good for a party gift.  You know, something to help get the party jammin'.   Or if it's a day time gathering a new Frisbee (the heavy weight good kind) is great, since they're popular in college.

"Somebody" else will bring the stuff that they aren't of legal age for. 

asiljoy

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 08:58:40 AM »
I would just send cash in a card. But I certainly wouldn't do that for every party your son got invited to; but relatives and close friends would be a good cut-off for me.
Oh yeah, good call. In my home town, every kid pretty much gets invited to every one else's party. It wouldn't be uncommon to go to 6/7 a weekend between mid-April and June. Every party had the same gross sheet cake and semi-warm over sauced pasta salad.

My cut off for you would be, bring a card/cash only to parties you'd personally go to. I don't think anyone expects the kids to bring stuff to all those parties. It'd just be rotating cash around.

StacheInAFlash

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2016, 10:05:19 AM »
Giving a music CD might be good for a party gift. 

You'd have some 18 year olds scratching their heads at what to do with that. That is a technology most of that age have little familiarity with or desire to gain familiarity with. Crazy as that sounds, it is true. Of course, in another 5 years of so it will be a cool vintage thing, like vinyl that the hipster kids will be after.

Kitsune

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2016, 11:57:04 AM »
Giving a music CD might be good for a party gift. 

You'd have some 18 year olds scratching their heads at what to do with that. That is a technology most of that age have little familiarity with or desire to gain familiarity with. Crazy as that sounds, it is true. Of course, in another 5 years of so it will be a cool vintage thing, like vinyl that the hipster kids will be after.

Fair. Do you know how hard I had to look for an affordable CD player with few buttons??(For my daughters 2nd birthday... Took her 20 minutes and she knew how to switch CDs, switch songs, and turn the thing on and off. Hopefully it'll last until she learns to read enough to handle an MP3 player...)

My brother and sister (both current college students) swear by subscription music services... Spotify seems pretty popular with both of them, and a few months music subscription for a student is pretty cheap - maybe gifting that instead? :)

AMandM

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2016, 12:52:18 PM »
Within the last six years, I've had three kids graduate from high school and two from college.  At their and their friends' HS graduation parties, some (not all) people brought cards, and some (not all) cards included a gift card between 5 and 20 dollars. Grandparents gave presents (dictionaries and luggage because they were college-bound).

No-one had college graduation parties or received college graduation presents.

Cassie

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2016, 01:04:56 PM »
Card with $ or gift card in it.

Trudie

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2016, 02:25:21 PM »
We go online and buy amazon gift cards.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2016, 08:20:46 PM »
Why not a good money management "starter book" as a gift?

Drifterrider

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 08:14:50 AM »
We have a son, as well as my cousin's daughter, graduating high school this year.

If your son is old enough to graduate high school, he is old enough to take care of this himself and not have you "give" for him.

Now, if you know and like the graduates hosting the party (family links, etc) and you want to send a congratulation's card, cash is always king.  BUT, this is from YOU to the graduate(s), not from your son.  He is a big boy now.

JustTrying

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 05:59:27 PM »
 I come from one of those places in which it is completely normal for everyone to have a graduation party. For us, it would be typical for high school students to attend one another's graduation party's with NO gift and NO card. It's customary for the "adults" (e.g. those who did NOT just graduate high school) to bring a gift, most often a card with a check, but sometimes a little gift like a book or a pen set. I also agree with PP who said that if your kiddo is 17/18-years-old, that he should be making this decision on his own.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 06:18:37 PM »
Late 90s, I remember receiving small gifts from the families of my close friends--not money. I received, for instance, a monogrammed pewter necklace. That friend's mother died prematurely a few years ago. I still sometimes wear the necklace and always think of her when I do.

Which is to say, if you are close to a particular friend of Son's, consider a keepsake. I know, not all keepsakes are keepers, but some are really valued.

Villanelle

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Re: Graduation Gift Giving Etiquette
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 06:27:20 PM »
If your son is the one invited, he can buy gifts or not as he sees fit. 

If I receive announcements, I send a gift when I want to, and don't when I don't want to.  So many of them seem like money grabs.  I haven't talked to you in 6 months and your kid in 4 years, and I get a graduation announcement?  They are lucky to get a card wishing him/her well.  If we are friends but not close, I send a small gift, like $10-20 in iTunes gift cards.  If it is someone truly important in my life, I know them well enough to pick a meaningful and personal gift, and I'd spend more ore less depending on the relationship.

But again, that would be is I was invited or the announcement was addressed to me.  My kiddo would be on his own.  If he attends birthday parties of friends, do you buy gifts for that?