No New Cars - and Other Thoughts on Graduation Gifts

A big thank you to writer Peggy Noonan (aka “the other Peggy Noonan”) for featuring my suggestions for graduation gifts in this article in the NEA Benefits newsletter.

If you are our niece or nephew, stop reading now – since tells what you are getting for graduation.

#1 – Gift Registries

Many graduates now do gift registries at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond to decorate dorm rooms or first apartments. You give people what they want, rather than guess at what might work in their living space.

#2 – Be Practical

Most new grads don’t want or have room for extraneous things, like family heirlooms or a room full of furniture.

#3 – Give Subscriptions

We are big fans of subscriptions to services like Texture, which has about 200 magazines on a single app, or Netflix.  Make sure the subscription is for a long enough term so they have time to enjoy it – even if they opt not to renew.

#4 - Cash & Gift Cards

For our nieces and nephews still reading this post?  Well, this spoils the surprise of what you’re getting for graduation.  But we love cash for a gift, since everyone has different needs.  If you give gift cards, make sure they are for places the recipient likes to shop or eat.

#5 – Don’t Be Too Extravagant

Give gifts within your means - as well as that of the recipient.  Unless the grad can pay to maintain a car, it may become a money pit.  Tickets for a vacation might be nice, but if they don’t have cash to pay for the rest of the trip, it may cause them to pile on debt. 

New and recent graduates - what other ideas would you suggest?