It’s time to buy the graduate a unique gift

Every year when May rolls around, the announcements and invitations start pouring in, and it seems like everyone you ever met is graduating — from your niece Becky to the little girl who lived down the road 17 years ago. Now you are desperately trying to think of gift ideas for all of these scholars, some of whom you barely know. Here are some unique ideas to help you stand out from the crowd:

• A scratch-off map of the world or even one of the United States
This gift would be nice for the adventurous graduate who plans to do some traveling. As they travel, they can scratch off the places they visit and have a record of their trip.
• A weekender bag
This would be good for the graduate who is going to college or who plans to travel.
• A graduation wreath

Danetta and Amber from the Fun Squared blog came up with a fun way to give cash as a graduation gift. They rolled bills up to look like miniature diplomas. You can use whatever denomination you choose, they said.

Depending on your wealth and how much you like the graduate. Use some type of ribbon or twine to tie the bills so they stay rolled up. They purchased a foam wreath and hot glued the mini diplomas around the wreath with a dot of glue on each one. Make sure you attach the ribbon and not the bill to the glue. Then at the bottom of the wreath, they put a printable tag reading, “Congratulations Graduate.” They glued ribbon around the tag to make it look more fancy and glued the whole thing on. If you can’t print the tag, you could cut the words out of a graduation card instead. A video of the preparation can be found at

• A college survival kit
If the graduate will be living in an apartment or dorm, you might use a laundry basket and fill it with things like laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, a first aid kit, shampoo, toothpaste, gift cards, candy, anything you can think of that might make the transition from home to dorm easier.
• Lockbox or personal under bed safe
Something to keep their important things securely locked up if they are sharing a room.
• Lap desk
Some type of lap desk or tray they can put their laptop on as they study in bed or on a chair in the dorm.

Although it is difficult to pick out just the right gift, keep in mind, the best gift is one that comes from your heart. Most people just want to know you put some thought into it. They don’t want to feel like you walked into Walmart and grabbed the first thing you saw on the shelf that said graduate on it, and with that in mind, a card or letter could mean more than any gift if the words are from the heart.

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