Graduation Gifts for Every Kind of 2016 Graduate
Graduation season is upon us, and with it comes the challenge of finding the perfect gift for the high school senior, brand-new college graduate, or freshly-certified Krav Maga instructor in your life. Worry not, because we're here with a suggestion for everyone on your list!
For the grad who doesn't have much:
Whether you're buying for a kid fresh out of high school with few possessions to his name or a college senior who's spent four years growing dependent on his building's housekeeping staff, his school's athletics center, his roommate's pots and pans, and his ex-girlfriend's DVD library, often the best gift for a new grad is a practical piece of equipment for independent living, like, for example:
- Dyson Vacuums -- 55 percent off at Macys.com
- A gym membership from 24 Hour Fitness
- Paula Deen 15-piece cookware set -- $70 with coupon code Z50D2DAY5 at Bon-Ton (Free shipping with code BRADFREE15)
- A subscription to Netflix
Practical gifts certainly don't have to be dull - consider the example of an upgraded laptop or a new car. But for a gift that fits into any budget and is practically guaranteed not to go unused, find out where your grad is most likely to do his or her grocery shopping -- Safeway, Walmart, Target, Peapod, wherever -- and buy her a gift card in the denomination of your choice. This is the kind of "boring practical gift" that suddenly becomes pretty cool when your grad has nine dollars in his or her bank account and nothing but a lonely jar of pickle juice in the fridge.
For the grad who has everything:
Not every new grad needs help stocking their apartment or upgrading their computer. If you're buying for someone who's mostly set for the future, it may be best to focus your efforts on celebrating the present.
Online party supply and general knickknack superstore Oriental Trading Company has everything you need to throw a million-dollar graduation party on a budget, from mortarboard invitations to customized banners to themed shot glasses. For a lasting keepsake of the moment, try something like:
- A personalized graduation necklace -- $20 at Limoges Jewelry with code GRADBRAD1
- Personalized graduation pen set -- $17 at Gifts for You Now with code bdpenset
- Customized graduation bracelet -- $18 at Gifts for You Now with code bdgradebrace
- Graduation photo canvas -- $21 at Gifts for You Now with code bdgradcan
For the grad who's headed back to school:
Someone who's going off to college or on to grad school is in a different position from other grads - embracing campus life is like entering an alternate dimension where the bad news is that well-worn, widely-available used books are often priced upwards of $100, but the good news is that it is entirely socially acceptable to make a regular meal of 3 A.M. buffalo wings.
Equip your grad for the quirks and quiddities of this magical upside-down fantasyland with:
- A gift card to their college bookstore
- An Amazon Student membership ($49/year) or Amazon gift card for late night Prime Now deliveries and cheap school books
- A quality backpack -- $30 at LLBEan.com
- A printed version of our student discounts list
For the grad who's headed abroad:
Know anyone who's doing a post-grad internship in Zurich or ESL teaching stint in Seoul? Life and work abroad presents endless opportunities to learn new, unexpected, and amazing things about the world we live in and the people we share it with. Here are some ideas for the grad who's headed across the pond:
- Five-piece Spinner Luggage Set -- $87 at Kohl's with code CATCH15OFF
- Refurb Canon T5i DSLR + Lens -- $480 at Canon
- Moto 360 Smartwatch -- $97 at Daily Sale with code bradsdeals2off
- A flight to somewhere cool from Travelocity
For the grad who's temporarily unemployed:
Every entry-level job seeker needs a nice set of interview clothes, but not every entry-level job seeker can afford one. A gift card from a store that's good for interview-ready professional wear will come in handy even after your grad lands a steady gig. Try something from these places:
- Men's suits -- from $100 at Kohl's with code CATCH15OFF
- Up to 75 percent off Menswear -- use code PRIV at Macy's
- Up to 40 percent off sale items -- The Limited
- Ann Taylor dresses -- $30 off with $100 purchase, use code TAKE30
- Le Tote membership -- 20 percent off for three months unlimited
For the grad who's temporarily moving back home:
The Emily Post Institute recommends a copy of The Giving Tree tastefully rubber-banded to a bottle of Wild Turkey for both parent and child.
Be careful about mixing the two.