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What is an appropriate graduation gift(s)?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 07:40 am
My daughter is a junior in high school. She has been invited to a multiple of graduation parties. I typically give a very generous gift (monetary) as a graduation presentation knowing many of these kids are going onto college and I know money is greatly appreciated if not needed. Even last year the boy across the street graduated and we gave him $50. But this was the only graduation party we were invited to.

Now these are all my daughter's friends and the gift will be coming from her. And she has already been invited to 3 parties with more potential ones on the horizon. Obviously I would love to hand out $50 to all the kids, but it is not realistic and my daughter also has limited funds.

What is an appropriate gift under the circumstances? I know all her friends seniors and juniors are probably in the same situation. What should you give as a friend?
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:03 am
@Linkat,
For anyone going away to school, how about some sort of survival kit/stuff? It used to be a phone card would be a good idea, but that's probably not feasible. Still, those kids would be traveling at least a bit, so that could be your inspiration.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:05 am
@jespah,
Hmmm - that makes me think along the lines of iTunes gift card. They can use it for any sort of download on their phones.

What do you think is a reasonable price to spend seeing we are going to so many parties?
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:47 am
@Linkat,
Gadzooks it might just be a matter of simple division. E. g. $100 budget, divided by 5 friends = $20 apiece, something like that.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:53 am
@Linkat,
I'll ask around but $20 was my thought. And I agree that just plain cash/check is best.

I think you can also rank it a little; more for closer friends.

I was wondering about this too; my kid's a freshman but she knows a lot of seniors and will likely be going to some parties. The other level I'm wondering about is the drop-ins. We are a small town and the parties are geographically pretty condensed so there is a lot of just wandering through parties on the way to another one. Any gift at all for those?

I'll let you know what I find out....
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:59 am
@sozobe,
...the "ask around" thing actually makes me realize that's my main advice to you in determining what's appropriate. Each community probably has its own standard. Ask a friend who has a kid who graduated last year and find out how that worked.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:03 am
@sozobe,
Being an oldie, I don't get all this present giving for graduatiom. I can see it from family. Not saying it's wrong, just that is a change from my olden days and sort of startled me.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:08 am
@ossobuco,
Yeah, I don't actually know if we do peer-to-peer presents here. I wouldn't be surprised but I'm not sure. Now I'm curious, I'll let you know!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:09 am
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
Each community probably has its own standard. .


definitely

what you and Linkat describe doesn't sound anything like what colleagues are telling me about their kids' grad traditions (or what I'm seeing/hearing in the neighbourhood)
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:40 am
@jespah,
Yeah I see what you say - I don't want to be cheap simply because she is invited to so many, but I also don't want to spend all my money - trying to figure what is reasonable and expected without killing. $50 too high per person perhaps but I still want to be appropriate.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:42 am
@sozobe,
Yeah we are just running into this - as last year we were only invited to one - but that was more a neighbor sort of thing. So we gave generously.

We are a small community too but she is also being invited to ones outside of our town - like from friends she played club ball with.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:46 am
@sozobe,
good idea
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:49 am
@sozobe,
yeah maybe it isn't a gift sort of thing - we gave last year because all family was invited -
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 10:49 am
@Linkat,
OK I still recommend asking a local, but I just asked a friend whose daughter graduated last year and here's what she said for how things work here -- about what I was thinking:

Quote:
Did she get an invitation? If she did then I would give 20. If she is just crashing then nothing. The kids crash a bunch of parties but are only expected to give gifts at ones they're invited to.
George
 
  4  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 12:01 pm
@sozobe,
sozobe wrote:
. . .
Quote:
Did she get an invitation? If she did then I would give 20. If she is just
crashing then nothing. The kids crash a bunch of parties but are only
expected to give gifts at ones they're invited to.
Emily Post is doing a one-and-a-half gainer in her grave.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 12:15 pm
@George,
George wrote:

sozobe wrote:
. . .
Quote:
Did she get an invitation? If she did then I would give 20. If she is just
crashing then nothing. The kids crash a bunch of parties but are only
expected to give gifts at ones they're invited to.
Emily Post is doing a one-and-a-half gainer in her grave.


Yeah both the lack of gift giving and the crashing.

On the topic of crashing - I think the difference is you are only spending short periods of time at each. Not hanging the whole time sort of thing.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 12:26 pm
@George,
Ha, no doubt!

These kids are a pretty well-mannered group and I think the definition of "crashing" is loose; basically, they show up, hug, maybe take a pic or two, chat a bit, and then move on. They aren't very moochy I don't think. (The expectation seems to be that if you eat, you only do that at the parties you were invited to. If you're only crashing that day, no eating at all.)

And the plural there ("parties") is the other thing; there are about 80 kids in this graduating class and they all pretty much know each other, so with seniors attending each others' parties alone there are going to be multiple parties per day for everyone -- grad party season is short. So there is an expectation that lots of people are passing through each party. The parties tend to go a long time and be kind of "open house"-ish -- you're not expected to stay the whole time.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 09:08 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

sozobe wrote:
Each community probably has its own standard. .


definitely



double yeah

checked with a couple of neighbours and friends tonight

the deal locally - no individual grad parties/no gifts

one big party (I can't quite figure out who decides who/where/how it is hosted) that everyone in the class is invited to - the standard is no friends/no dates - classmates only

__

completely different from what we did 400 years ago and completely different from what you guys are describing
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 05:46 am
@ehBeth,
Oh interesting.

That makes sense. We're not there, but there are a lot of combo parties. I think at least two people is kind of the default. Still a lot I don't know though. I have the impression that these parties are pretty community-heavy, not just the seniors themselves but immediate and extended family, younger friends, neighbors (as in Linkat's example), misc important adults (I have about three kids who call me their "other mom" and I think I'd be invited to their parties -- not sure), etc., etc.

The seniors do have a class party of sorts at the end of the year -- they go on a class overnight (just the seniors), with transportation and chaperones provided by the school.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 07:23 am
@sozobe,
Yes there are lots of Senior only type things...this is senior week and their last day is today. During the week there is all sorts of events and things for the seniors.

On the last day -Upon driving into the school today - the seniors all line up in the entrance and squirt cars, scream and wave at everyone - they have matching T-shirts in school colors. Then they march in go to auditorium, get yearbooks and later on the entire school of underclassmen line up and the seniors all march out and say good bye to everyone - then there is a cookout and they leave whenever they want after that.

I know we are already thinking of my daughter's graduation - as we have lots of relatives out of state and many plan on coming, we will likely have a party the day after seeing we should have so many family members visiting- they typically graduate the second Friday after the last day of school. We have 4 graduates next year all within a stone's throw of our house. We had thoughts of combining a big party, but not sure if all 4 neighbors would be in on it. Many neighbors do consider doing this.

To complicate matters - the senior are done with school but softball is still going on this week and since we made tournament play already we will be playing after graduation. I remember last year our one senior on our team actually came to practice the Friday of her graduation. She did leave early though.
0 Replies
 
 

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