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College Grad Gift Ideas for Niece

my2sunzmy2sunz Registered User Posts: 665 Member
edited June 2011 in Parent Cafe
I looked through old threads but couldn't find what I was looking for...

My niece is graduating from college and I am looking for some gift ideas in around the ballpark of $150 (give or take $25 or so.) I tend to like to give gifts that are not "practical" (such as something for her apartment) but something more sentimental. I only have boys so sometimes when I need to give a "girl gift" I'm a little bit stumped! Any ideas? Gifts you've given that were well-received? Or ones you've gotten that you've loved?

thanks! :)
Post edited by my2sunz on

Replies to: College Grad Gift Ideas for Niece

  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,631 Senior Member
    Make a photo album of family pictures - great-grandparents on down. There are lots of websites that do this at less than your target price and bind them into real books. (and once you have the majority of the photos assembled, each subsequent relative is faster and easier.....hey, why didn't I think of this years age?)
  • bookiemombookiemom Registered User Posts: 1,914 Senior Member
    Someone on the jewelry thread mentioned the Elsa Peretti "bean" sterling silver necklace from Tiffany. (It's a small bean-shaped silver piece connected to a chain.) She said her D liked it and I think my D would too. That is over what you want to spend but there are some other simple necklaces that would work that are under $200. One is an open heart and one is an eternal circle design. You could give one of those with a nice note about having an open heart in life or something about being always held in the eternal circle of your family's love. I think your niece would always remember that you gave her that necklace.
  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    I don't know how much traveling your niece does but my three Ds are on the move pretty constantly and two of them are now using a really great backpack/carry-on bag that I discovered and they really like. It's called the eBags Weekender eTech Convertible and it's just about the perfect little bag. The backpack straps can be totally hidden when you want it to be a little suitcase and it is remarkably while still appearing very small. It was particularly handy for one D who was recently flying around Europe on those super cheap airlines that charge very little to fly but big luggage fees. Her friends had to check their small suitcases but nobody challenged her little backpack.

    I know you weren't moving in the direction of practical or luggage but the reason I thought of this is that the only gift I can actually remember receiving for my own graduation years ago was a bright yellow Samsonite carry-on bag. I used it regularly for about 20 years and still have it in the basement somewhere. And I still remember the people who gave it to me.
  • 1down12go1down12go Registered User Posts: 307 Member
    ^^Thank you Puzzled! Just ordered this bag for my own niece who just graduated and loves to travel. PERFECT!! :)

    Sorry OP...I have boys so can't offer much insight here. But, to me, the idea of something practical and lasting, such as a good piece of luggage, seems to be a great idea as she will remember you every time she is on the move and enjoying herself.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    Money always work for me for any occasion.
  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    1down12go, I am so pleased that you liked the idea. I love to give people luggage, especially young people. I feel like I'm launching a ship - so exciting to think of where that suitcase will go. Sometimes I use a luggage tag as the gift tag.

    Incidentally, I see that I left a word out of my earlier comment. I meant to say that it is remarkably capacious while appearing small. The bag holds enough for a weekend trip - longer if it's a beach holiday.
  • italiafienditaliafiend Registered User Posts: 33 New Member
    Thank you for the eBags tip Puzzled88 -- I am now going to buy several for gifts. You should get a commission!
  • robyrm2robyrm2 Registered User Posts: 350 Member
    To the OP, if your niece likes that sort of thing, Kate Spade makes really nice toiletry and jewelry kits which last forever and in sets are priced in the $150 range. I think it is nice for kids who are setting out to have pretty and slightly more adult 'tools' for travel, etc.
  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 Registered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    italiafiend, it is funny that you say that because I often think that myself. On other threads here I have recommended my all time favorite bag, the eBags Motherlode Junior. Honestly, I have no affiliation whatsoever with the company but my family has always traveled a lot, mostly because my H runs a company in Asia and we lived out there for many years. We used to blow through suitcases very quickly but now we all have the Motherlode bags and they're just great - durable, easy to pack, easy to roll. Only two of them have ever broken - one had a wheel problem and one began to get worn around a zipper (after being overpacked and used very extensively). Ebags sent replacement parts for the wheel and sent a whole new duffel to replace the other one - no questions asked, no charge, no need to send back the old one. It's a great company. So yes, I should get a commission.
  • travelnuttravelnut Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    If your niece likes jewelry, your budget would buy a beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry box with enough room for many pieces, yet small enough for a dresser in an apt. if she is starting out there. It is both practical and a bit sentimental. I also like the luggage idea for someone likely to use it. Necklaces seem like the easiest type of jewelry to select for someone and can be great as she enters the work world. Have fun deciding.
  • italiafienditaliafiend Registered User Posts: 33 New Member
    I just bought two of the Weekender bags for gifts (along with the small zippered bag inserts.) Now I will have to check out the Motherlode Junior!
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    Tiffany has a decent amount of choices for $150. A Tiffany gift card would be nice. You would know that she could pick something out.

    A Coach or Kate Spade gift card are also nice options if you are not sure what to buy. A Coach wallet will go far. Have you got a Coach factory store nearby? For $150 you could get a wallet and a key chain, or a good size wallet/checkbook, etc. They last forever. Same goes for a Kate Spade wallet or planner. My D LOVES her Kate Spade planner. Yes, she had an iphone, and does keep things digitally. But the planner is great. And it is a small "loose-leaf" notebook with rings. You can purchase a new calendar each year for inserting into the planner for about $25. They have two sizes, a pocket planner and a personal planner. She has the pocket size (smaller.) It is $150 at Kate Spade online, but Saks and other department stores have them at $75 for this time of year (check online.) They last and last. And they come loaded with this year, you don't need to purchase a refill until December.
  • avoidingworkavoidingwork Registered User Posts: 786 Member
    My niece just completed a 1 year masters program and I gave her a pair of casual earrings and a check for $100. Oh, and I'm helping network for possible job opportunities.
  • hyperJuliehyperJulie Registered User Posts: 1,542 Senior Member
    Just out of curiosity, do you know that your niece is a fan of jewelry?

    I don't know if this is due to my upbringing, but I've never been a jewelry wearer, and the more expensive the piece is, the less likely I am to wear it. However, I loved the duffel set that my aunt got me for my first Christmas back from college. I use it to go everywhere and my small duffel is the perfect size for a weekend trip. They're not high-end but I use the crap out of those things and I think of and appreciate my aunt whenever I do.

    I guess the moral if the story is to know the person you're buying gifts for. :) Most of my friends would fawn over an expensive piece of jewelry or anything Coach, while I would be polite and appreciative but never wear/use said item.
  • my2sunzmy2sunz Registered User Posts: 665 Member
    Wow! Thanks...this really helps. I think the luggage idea may be a good idea for her. She has done a lot of traveling throughout college and although she has a "real" job lined up, I'm sure she'll still indulge her love of travel.
    I was considering a silver Tiffany necklace, too (there is just something about that blue box that makes it seem like a special gift!). She is not a real "jewelry" person, but does wear some simple things and that would fit the bill.
    So, I think between these two choices, I'll find one that works. Thank you!
    BTW - As the family photographer, I love the idea of a photo book. Not sure about doing it for this, but I think I just figured out what I'll be giving to all of my siblings for Christmas this year! :)
    PS - DS will be traveling a lot this summer and I think I'll get him one of the Weekender eTech Convertible bags, too!
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