Jun 9, 2012

Truly Memorable Graduation Gifts

If the thought of shoving a few bucks in an envelope turns you off, consider high school graduation gifts that are memorable, significant, and maybe even a little useful.

“I thoroughly enjoy attending high school graduation parties especially when they feature the colors of the college the student plans to attend—so I select gifts the same way,” said Kathryn Hollis, as she ran between parties celebrating various DC area high school graduations. “Blankets, totes or anything that can be monogrammed bring extra thought to the selection.”
But it’s not just about logos and team colors.
“Function quickly outweighs fashion when the students realize they have to brave the elements to get from class to class on campus,” warns Mrs. Hollis.  “Rain boots and umbrellas they would never be seen wearing in high school instantly become requisites.”

And for the more motivated gift-giver, it can all be done online. Simply let your fingers do the walking and check out the following website suggestions:
  • College Bookstore: This time of year, bookstores do big business and frequently sell out of the most popular items. Simply enter “bookstore” in the search function located on the college website and a link should appear. Note that many bookstores are run by Barnes and Noble and that a gift card to the college bookstore always “fits.”

  • Team Shop: In addition to typical bookstore items, many college athletic departments or boosters maintain separate team shops where you can find logo gear. Use Google or your favorite search engine and enter the college name and “athletics.” Not all these sites sell team products, but it’s worth a try.

  • Off Campus Food: Undergrads are either really excited about dining hall options or they’re not. Google their favorite chain to see if there is a location near campus and arrange for a gift card—burritos by the box, anyone? Or take the idea one step further and research fancier dining options with tablecloths. If you go this route, be sure to put enough on the card to support more than one diner!

  • Amazon: After entering the name of your targeted college or university in the Amazon search, you will be presented with a list of relevant departments including Sports & Outdoors, Books, Clothing & Accessories, and Home & Garden. Some products are sold directly by Amazon, but frequently items will come from independent vendors selling under the Amazon umbrella.

  • UGrad Shop: This site features classic products ranging from cuff links to sports coats. Seasoned shoppers recommend UGrad’s service and price. The collection of colleges featured on the site includes Georgetown, University of Maryland, UMBC, UVa, and Virginia Tech.

  • Ebay: If you’re looking for a slightly offbeat or keepsake item, try Ebay. Not everything is “used” and if that’s not a problem, you might find “collectables” such as college prints and old fraternity pins or barstools and used flip flops.

  • NCAA College Store: This site advertises as having the "largest selection of college merchandise anywhere." There are over 550 colleges and universities from which to choose, and the selection of products is nothing short of amazing. Look for some real bargains among sale items.

  • Vineyard Vines: Check out the college collection for everything from boxers and loungewear to ties and tote bags from George Washington, Georgetown, UVa, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, and many recognizable postsecondary institutions.  The "preppy" designs are unique and very much in vogue among undergrads. It’s so popular that many college bookstores have “exclusives” on their Vineyard Vines products.

  • College Snuggie: The blanket with sleeves now comes in over 70 college logo designs available on the Snuggie site, including UVa, UMd and Virginia Tech. They are enormously popular among undergrads who wear them to sporting events, class, and to study—sometimes.  And as an added bonus, the site also features “customized” team flags.

  • T-Shirt Quilt: If you’re sitting on a stash of t-shirts from school, team, or volunteer events, why not put them to good use by creating a fabulous keepsake quilt. You pick the size and price based on how many t-shirts are going to be incorporated into the quilt, send a deposit, and mail the shirts. There are several vendors online and most ship completed quilts in a matter of weeks.

  • Blazer Buttons and Cufflinks:  Admittedly a little pricey, the blazer buttons and cufflinks sold by Ben Silver Charleston are truly special.  Although variations in quality come with different price tags, you’ll never find a bigger collection of these items in one place. 

  • Magnolia Lane: These unique pottery and ceramic items periodically show up at local Hallmark Stores and include UVa and Virginia Tech in the product line. You can shop directly from the manufacturer, but a better price may be found at invitationbox.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment