5 Creative Gift Giving Ideas for Your Graduate

By: Melody Crist


It’s graduation season! 

For students, it’s a chapter that is exciting, daunting, full of bittersweet endings and the promise of new beginnings. And, most of all, it’s a time to recognize four years of impressive accomplishments. Saying goodbye to high school or college is a once-in-a-lifetime event—so it calls for an unforgettable celebration!

Here is a list of unique ways to celebrate the class of 2022:  

  • Put together a wisdom jar 
  • New graduates usually don’t have it all figured out; sometimes, the best gift you can give is encouragement! If you’re having a party or gathering, pass around index cards or paper scraps and have everyone write a note to the grad: words of wisdom (from people who have been there before), advice, or inspirational phrases. Place them all in a large jar and present this memorable gift!

  • Get creative with cash 
  • Money is the most typical (and often the most appreciated) way of congratulating graduates—but presenting it doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative by rolling up bills with ribbon so that they look like tiny diplomas. Or, empty a box of chocolates and replace the candy with folded cash. The possibilities are endless!

  • Make “open when” letters 
  • Wherever the graduates in your life are headed, they’re bound to face obstacles along the way. That’s where your “open when” letters come in! Fill a series of envelopes with messages to a future version of the graduate—you can use themes such as “open when you’re feeling down,” or “open when you need to make a big decision.” This is an easy, thoughtful way to stay close to them as they leap into the next stage of their lives.

  • Send the scholars on a trip 
  • The days leading up to graduation are stressful—that’s why it’s the perfect time to give the gift of a getaway. Help plan the trip with tickets to a show or museum, or pay for a place to stay. Help them celebrate with an experience they’ll remember!

  • Say “congratulations” with candy!
  • Did you know that Smarties were inspired by the pursuit of education!? The classic and colorful wafer candy was invented by Edward Dee, a Cambridge University graduate who wanted to encourage people to discover the benefits of learning. Presenting a graduate with a few rolls of Smarties is a symbolic way of saying “congratulations”— they made it this far through intellect, dedication and hard work! 

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