Dear Gift Gal:
My only grandson is graduating from high school in
June. I don't
want to give money, a watch, a set of suitcases or any of the
gifts. Do you have any ideas for a unique yet memorable
P.J., Montgomery, AL
The Gift Gal responds:
As my own graduation from high school drew closer, I realized
I didn't want to give my friends the typical graduation
giving them a card didn't seem like enough. As a senior
and saving for college tuition, I couldn't afford to buy
them expensive monographed gifts or give them money. Gifts
clothes or friendship jewelry seemed too predictable and
Since I've always loved writing and editing, I decided to give
a gift that would be uniquely from me, yet practical too. I
put together a notebook of hints on surviving in the adult world.
stacks of books and magazines for articles on topics such as
doing your own laundry, surviving freshman homesickness, and
difficult roommates. I made photocopies of those articles and put
in a 3- ring notebook. The first page included a message
for each of my friends. My friends seemed to appreciate the
of the gift at the time. But I never realized how useful
was until about a year ago, when a friend told me she had hers
still referring to it--even though it's been 20 years since we've
Why not adapt this gift idea to your own situation?
Write a letter
to your relatives, telling them that you are compiling a notebook
hints for your grandson's graduation gift. Ask them to
by jotting down a tidbit of advice and sending it back to
them to be creative, practical, and maybe even a little humorous!
probably find that some of the responses are silly, others
still others filled with helpful information. Compile those
of wisdom into a hand-decorated notebook and present it to your
on graduation day. I'm sure it will be one of the most
gifts he has ever received!
Cheryl Schroeder publishes the Creative Gift Giver, an online guide to imaginative gift giving.