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College Graduation Gift - my son

peoplepeople Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2006 in Parent Cafe
My oldest son is graduating from college in two months (ho-RAY! One down, two to go!) I'm in a total quandary about any sort of gift, though. Getting him through 4.5 years, his sister in college, and another nipping at their heels has us feeling very broke! In my dreams, I'd love to take him to Europe, a celebratory family trip. In reality... what do most parents do? Is a nice gift the norm, or do many parents consider the college education "gift" enough? I hate for the momenteous occasion to just slide by with just a hug of congratulations after the ceremony!
Post edited by people on
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Replies to: College Graduation Gift - my son

  • 2331clk2331clk Posts: 1,656Registered User Senior Member
    For my son we threw a nice party at the house which was all he really wanted...low key but with all the family and friends.

    As far as an actual gift....as a college senior (class of '05), second semester, he went on a four day with friends to Las Vegas; plus spring break with classmates to Hawaii for 9 days. I footed the bill for both with the understanding they were his graduation gifts...I was happy because I knew it was what he wanted.

    I too had hoped he'd take some time in Europe (he'd never been) at my expense after graduation and before the job, but his choice was LV and HI which was fine. Ironically he's in London currently for a month on a work-related project, with weekend travel planned outside the UK.
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    We paid for a working wardrobe, since what he wore in college wasn't going to make it in his workplace. Dress shoes, a few nice shirts & ties, a couple pair of dress pants, and a dress coat. (He already had a suit.)
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,322Registered User Senior Member
    What's he planning to do next?

    If he's getting a job, perhaps the gift he would appreciate most (though it is far from glamorous) would be for you to subsidize part of the cost of the new business wardrobe he's suddenly going to need.

    Edited to add: binx and I cross-posted. But I guess we think alike.
  • ophioliteophiolite Posts: 1,054Registered User Member
    My parents got me a palm pilot. I used it for awhile, but got sick of losing my data each time I forgot to charge the batteries. I think it was a pretty decent gift. Nothing yet really given for my MS degree except them coming down for my thesis defense and taking me and a few friends out to dinner. I expect something BIG for my PhD though...thinking down payment on house big (;))
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 32,939Registered User Senior Member
    I have a palm pilot and it has memory that will hold even if batteries run down - I got it on ebay last year after my other was stolen ( when my car was broken into- it also has a slot for a memory card so you can move info around easily)
    But we bought D an ipod for graduation- after the one she bought with her latest laptop was stolen
    if you buy it through the apple store you can get it engraved for free- which I recommend because then it is more indentifiable!

    I do also buy her clothes occasionally- a winter coat every year for xmas:)
  • peoplepeople Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
    I had to help already with his work-world wardrobe - He had interviews, and subsequently summer internship at a bank this past summer, so... He's kind of set with clothes. I was toying with the idea of offering him airfare to anywhere in the US, if he wanted to go on vacation someplace. That might sound rather lame, though.
  • dragonmomdragonmom Posts: 4,237Registered User Senior Member
    When our son graduated we paid for a very nice frame for the diploma, since his college education had been a gift itself (no loans) and we couldn't afford anything else. I was afraid he would think that was corny, but he's proudly hung it up in each of his apartments.
    I don't remember getting a college graduation gift from my parents - but by then they'd already paid for a wedding, so I certainly didn't expect one!
  • mkm56mkm56 Posts: 3,062Registered User Senior Member
    When my oldest graduated we bought him a nice watch as a keepsake and helped with business clothes as others have suggested. We also treated him, girlfriend (now wife) and her parents to dinner at a nice upscale restaurant the evening before graduation.
  • peoplepeople Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
    Nice ideas! I have indeed been getting advertisements for diploma frames, and a nice restaurant with his g'friend would probably be much appreciated. You're all making me feel better!
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 32,939Registered User Senior Member
    My D school also offered graduation picture packages
    and while I haven't gotten a diploma frame yet- I have bought the picture package and a DVD of graduation by the same photographer
    oh & bought her a beer stein with all the names of graduates written in little tiny gold lettering I figured she can keep her pencils in it

    Her birthday was two weeks after- ( as was her sisters) so I think for that I got her an air bed ( with sheets) as she was having to move out of her apt right away, and since she doesn't have a car- moving stuff can be difficult.
    Where she is living now however, the former resident left her bed and stuff so she hasn't had to use it ( she wanted D to buy it- but left it anyway)
  • shedevilshedevil Posts: 113Registered User Junior Member
    Unless your son already has it, I think some furnishings would be nice. I remember graduating and buying a bed, washing machine and dryer, and kitchen table all on a credit card. I cringe to think how much I paid in the end (I think credit card interest rates were over 20% back then too). Even if they aren't expensive, I would think he would appreciate not using cardboard boxes.
  • 2boysima2boysima Posts: 1,792Registered User Senior Member
    A nice desk clock...a plate can be attached that is engraved with his initials, degree, date of grad...or whatever else you want to put on it. Have found these ranging in price from $50 +. (Actually...I find this gift a little better for graduation from a professional school..MBA, JD, MD etc....but maybe your son had already studied for a profession?)
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom Posts: 13,158- Senior Member
    what kind of work is he going to be doing

    when my neice became a nurse, her mom got her a stethoscope

    i got my other neice (a child's therapist) a leather portfolio for papers, meetings etc

    my nephew, a nice dress watch

    a friend a gold and silver watch for dress or work

    I mean, think about what he is doing workwise, and go in that direction maybe
  • fendergirlfendergirl Posts: 4,647Registered User Senior Member
    During Senior year when I was buying my new car in October, my dad slipped in a check of $500 towards my downpayment and that was my graduation gift... which was nice because it helped to lower my payments during school.. which was when I needed to conserve money the most..

    and believe me, I thought $500 was a huge present - I never get presents like that, so I was greatly appreciative of them!
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Posts: 9,264Registered User Senior Member
    When my oldest D graduated, we gave her (and her boyfriend) a trip as a gift, and she chose a week in NYC.
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