High School Graduation Gifts

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LarryAllen
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High School Graduation Gifts

Post by LarryAllen »

Curious what people give around the country depending on the closeness of the relationship. Have gotten several high school graduation announcements, this year, from people where I don't know the kids. In a couple cases never met. Do you drop them a few bucks in the mail or ignore? What about close friends? What do you give? Curious what the "norm" is.
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BL
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by BL »

We usually give them a $50 check if we go to their party (more if immediate family). That is probably toward the upper end here, but one of our kids gives $100 where they live and the circle they are in.

I know, checks are hard to deal with these days. But I hate to see cash lost or stolen.
lakpr
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by lakpr »

BestBuy gift cards in $25 denominations
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gasdoc
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by gasdoc »

Had a senior in HS graduate this year. She received checks ranging from $30 (a neighbor that lived next door to us over ten year ago) to $500 (a wealthy and close aunt). The average check was for $50, with a few $100's and $150's from family members thrown in. Everyone that gave money to our daughter had a relationship of some sort with her. Her high school friends gave her small, thoughtful non-cash gifts. Thanks for the interesting post.

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Cash/check, depending on closeness of relationship with kids parents. Most kids don't want to be "close" with adults, they want to hang with kids their own age so I would not go by the standard "how close you are to the kids" routine.
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PhysicsTeacher
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by PhysicsTeacher »

I gave first aid kits and copies of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need to my graduating students this year in a final attempt to equip them for adulthood. I also gave one student, who is homeless, a set of twin xl sheets and a towel for his dorm. I gave a friend's daughter whom I used to tutor The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need; I was subsequently invited to a party celebrating her graduation but was unable to attend. I don't think I would send anything for a teen I had never met but would consider a congratulatory card with $25 for someone I felt warmly toward but wasn't close to. I'm guessing we'll give our nephew $100 in a few years when he graduates.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

gasdoc wrote:Had a senior in HS graduate this year. She received checks ranging from $30 (a neighbor that lived next door to us over ten year ago) to $500 (a wealthy and close aunt). The average check was for $50, with a few $100's and $150's from family members thrown in. Everyone that gave money to our daughter had a relationship of some sort with her. Her high school friends gave her small, thoughtful non-cash gifts. Thanks for the interesting post.

gasdoc
Thanks for the specifics, it's interesting to see what people do. We used to do $100 for nieces/nephews, and then $150-200 for college graduation.
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gasdoc
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by gasdoc »

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
gasdoc wrote:Had a senior in HS graduate this year. She received checks ranging from $30 (a neighbor that lived next door to us over ten year ago) to $500 (a wealthy and close aunt). The average check was for $50, with a few $100's and $150's from family members thrown in. Everyone that gave money to our daughter had a relationship of some sort with her. Her high school friends gave her small, thoughtful non-cash gifts. Thanks for the interesting post.

gasdoc
Thanks for the specifics, it's interesting to see what people do. We used to do $100 for nieces/nephews, and then $150-200 for college graduation.
And honestly, I don't think DD gave it much thought as to who gave her what amounts. She just kind of went through the cards, shuffling the money into her purse.

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Cobra Commander
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Cobra Commander »

We gave $50 each to the two girls on our street and we went to the adult graduation party. We moved in two years ago but its a close knit neighborhood so not close with the girls but close to the parents.
TRC
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by TRC »

My niece is graduating high school and we plan to give her $100. And how lucky are we that we get to host her graduation party at our house because we have a pool?! (sarcasm intended).
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by kjvmartin »

TRC wrote:My niece is graduating high school and we plan to give her $100. And how lucky are we that we get to host her graduation party at our house because we have a pool?! (sarcasm intended).
Why I'll never own a pool or pickup truck :D
Flora
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Flora »

It's common here to give a card and a check for $20.17.

Next year I'll be writing checks for $20.18.
RJNetworking
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by RJNetworking »

This is a very timely topic. I like the book idea from physics teacher.

What is the expectation on thank you notes?

We rarely receive thank you from checks or gifts we send, which is frustrating. Is there an easy way to bring it up?

Taking a few minutes to write a note or even an email goes a long way. Just curious on everyone's thoughts.
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gasdoc
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by gasdoc »

RJNetworking wrote:This is a very timely topic. I like the book idea from physics teacher.

What is the expectation on thank you notes?

We rarely receive thank you from checks or gifts we send, which is frustrating. Is there an easy way to bring it up?

Taking a few minutes to write a note or even an email goes a long way. Just curious on everyone's thoughts.
DD is working on this, but hasn't finished them yet. Graduation was two weeks ago, but she has been busy with saying good bye to her school friends (the seniors finish two weeks before the rest of the school) and starting her first full time summer job. DW and I believe strongly that she should do this.

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ram
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by ram »

I always give cash. (as in paper money). Typically $25 to $100. My two children who graduated from HS in the last decade preferred cash. Many HS graduates may not have a bank account. My son held on to his checks for two months till he opened a bank account in the city that he went to college. He had to be on the phone for 10 minutes to cancel the walmart rechargable $50 card that somebody had gifted him. Cashing it would have paid only $47. We had already provided him a low limit credit card and so he did not need any rechargeable cards.
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gasdoc
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by gasdoc »

ram wrote:I always give cash. (as in paper money). Typically $25 to $100. My two children who graduated from HS in the last decade preferred cash. Many HS graduates may not have a bank account. My son held on to his checks for two months till he opened a bank account in the city that he went to college. He had to be on the phone for 10 minutes to cancel the walmart rechargable $50 card that somebody had gifted him. Cashing it would have paid only $47. We had already provided him a low limit credit card and so he did not need any rechargeable cards.
Regarding gift cards, DD does not like these. She complains that she has to leave money on the cards because she doesn't have additional money to purchase items that cost more than what is left on the card. She has gift cards that she has received that are over two years old.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Doom&Gloom »

RJNetworking wrote:This is a very timely topic. I like the book idea from physics teacher.

What is the expectation on thank you notes?

We rarely receive thank you from checks or gifts we send, which is frustrating. Is there an easy way to bring it up?

Taking a few minutes to write a note or even an email goes a long way. Just curious on everyone's thoughts.
For us--the expectation is there. We are fortunately running > 95%, I estimate for graduation/wedding/similar gifts. There is no easy way to bring it up other than if a gift was sent to ask a few weeks later if it was received.

Teach it and hope it takes and spreads is the best approach imo. When DS graduated from HS a couple of years ago a neighbor two doors down appeared at my door one day with an envelope for DS. I was absolutely stunned as we do little more than wave at each other. In fact, I was embarrassingly speechless as I had no idea they even knew who DS was or when he would be graduating. Of course, there was a check for $25 or $50 in the envelope which we thought was exceedingly generous. Since she had delivered it in person, we asked DS to drop by their home to thank them in person. He did and had a 20-30 minute visit with a retired couple who were interested in his plans for the future as well as what he had already done. They had made some effort that was unexpected and not asked for, so we thought he should make some extra effort to thank them rather than simply writing a note. He wrote timely thank-you notes for all of the other gifts he received.

I personally abhor giving cash or gift cards as gifts, but I think this is one spot where it is a great choice for someone you don't know particularly well. If I know the graduate or his/her family quite well, I will make the effort to buy an appropriate and needed gift instead.
RJNetworking
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by RJNetworking »

Larry, I forgot to include our typical gifts.

For high school we typically mail a $20-$25 check for kids we don't know that well. For college we've started sending books that I wish I had read when I was in my early 20s. Recently we sent Random Walk Down Wall Street and Millionaire Next Door. My goal was the leave a lasting impression on the new graduate and open the door to follow on discussions about personal finance and investing. My wife's opinion is everyone would rather have money, but I believe as a new college graduate the money will come, but it's what you do with that money that counts.

Thanks for the feedback on the thank you notes, I'll send an email asking if he ever got the books. As for the checks that we sent (that were immediately cashed), I'll just let it go.
island
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by island »

RJNetworking wrote:This is a very timely topic. I like the book idea from physics teacher.

What is the expectation on thank you notes?

We rarely receive thank you from checks or gifts we send, which is frustrating. Is there an easy way to bring it up?

Taking a few minutes to write a note or even an email goes a long way. Just curious on everyone's thoughts.
Agree, it's irritating to not receive thank yous. It's just rude and there is no excuse. If people have time to choose and send announcements to everyone, they have time to send a thank you of some sort. IMO announcements for graduations are basically gift requests.
RoadHouseFan
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by RoadHouseFan »

We give them Chick-fil-A gift cards. If we don't receive a thank you card within 2 weeks, then we block that family from all further communications.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by GoldenFinch »

Flora wrote:It's common here to give a card and a check for $20.17.

Next year I'll be writing checks for $20.18.
I like this idea! Thank you.
mouses
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by mouses »

RJNetworking wrote: We rarely receive thank you from checks or gifts we send, which is frustrating. Is there an easy way to bring it up?
No. The younger generation has gone to the dogs :-) I have given up on expecting a thank you, but I would like to know if something has been received, That's why I send checks now, so that I see them processed through my checking account.
RJ2010
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by RJ2010 »

Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
rockonhumblepie
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by rockonhumblepie »

$50 cash for friends

$50 cash for family and "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing"

Maybe they will read it before they are out of college or 22yo or so.

rockon' at home
stoptothink
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by stoptothink »

RJ2010 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:52 pm Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
You are footing the bill for all the latest Apple stuff, his senior trip, and his college tuition and you are looking for further ways to celebrate his high school graduation?
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by CAsage »

We got him his favorite chocolate cake with school logo/decor from the local Snooty Cakes bakery. Since we are fully funding college, with all required electronics/laptops, that was plenty. Note that I don't ever give gifts to other people's kids for graduations, even when those "begging" announcements show up. I do send a congratulatory text or email to the parents....
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by FIREchief »

kjvmartin wrote: Mon May 29, 2017 7:21 am
TRC wrote:My niece is graduating high school and we plan to give her $100. And how lucky are we that we get to host her graduation party at our house because we have a pool?! (sarcasm intended).
Why I'll never own a pool or pickup truck :D
Yep, those are probably the top two. Some would add "guest room" to that list. 8-)
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anon_investor
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by anon_investor »

My parents took me to a nice dinner...
stoptothink
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by stoptothink »

CAsage wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:24 pm Note that I don't ever give gifts to other people's kids for graduations, even when those "begging" announcements show up. I do send a congratulatory text or email to the parents....
Consider this another instance where I didn't even realize gifts were expected...until Bogleheads.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by oldfort »

RJ2010 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:52 pm Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
Almost all teen boys play video games, so PS5 or latest Xbox.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Doom&Gloom »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:02 pm
RJ2010 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:52 pm Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
You are footing the bill for all the latest Apple stuff, his senior trip, and his college tuition and you are looking for further ways to celebrate his high school graduation?
I can see where RJ2010 is stumped :happy

Seriously, just call it a day already. I would not expect the kid to feel short-changed.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by RudyS »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:35 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:02 pm
RJ2010 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:52 pm Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
You are footing the bill for all the latest Apple stuff, his senior trip, and his college tuition and you are looking for further ways to celebrate his high school graduation?
I can see where RJ2010 is stumped :happy

Seriously, just call it a day already. I would not expect the kid to feel short-changed.
No additional gifts, but a dinner with family at a nice place (or place of graduate's choice) to celebrate would be nice.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by remomnyc »

My niece was the first to graduate. I emailed her a letter with a link to If You Can and sent her $200 via Zelle, so that's how much I will be sending all my other nephews and nieces. I sent my cousins' kids $100 each and of the 3 kids, only one sent a thank you. I got subsequent invitations from the cousins' kids for college graduations and ignored them. I give $100 when I attend graduation parties of close friends' kids.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by manatee2005 »

Here’s a helpful chart
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Cash - the kid knows what he needs or wants. It's like a magic elixir, it works wonders. :moneybag Open a card with heartfelt sentiments, but the biggest smile comes when they see Ulysses (not the book!) or Benjamin staring back at them. :)
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by phxjcc »

LarryAllen wrote: Sat May 27, 2017 10:53 pm Curious what people give around the country depending on the closeness of the relationship. Have gotten several high school graduation announcements, this year, from people where I don't know the kids. In a couple cases never met. Do you drop them a few bucks in the mail or ignore? What about close friends? What do you give? Curious what the "norm" is.
This kind of "announcement" thing I find to be in REALLY bad taste.

Why don't they just call up and say: "hi, Bob, Courtney just graduated from South High School and we would like you to give her some money. How about $500, $200, $100? Bob?"

I got a gofundme notification from acquaintances that want to go to Tahiti for their 25th anniversary.
REALLY?
Then just go.
You each make 50K/yr in government pensions, guess maybe that $200K 5th wheel might put a crimp in those plans, eh :shock:

I getting too old.
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F150HD
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by F150HD »

Have gotten several high school graduation announcements, this year, from people where I don't know the kids. In a couple cases never met.
any more answers to this specific issue? have had this happen and I'm not comfortable writing a check to a kid I saw once 15+ years ago or never at all?

Different if its a niece/nephew I see semi-regularly.
stoptothink
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by stoptothink »

F150HD wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:06 am
Have gotten several high school graduation announcements, this year, from people where I don't know the kids. In a couple cases never met.
have had this happen and I'm not comfortable writing a check to a kid I saw once 15+ years ago or never at all?
Then don't. Based on my experience and many of those responding, gifting for high school graduations isn't necessarily the norm in our culture so don't feel guilted into it by a message board thread.
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F150HD
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by F150HD »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:56 am
F150HD wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:06 am
Have gotten several high school graduation announcements, this year, from people where I don't know the kids. In a couple cases never met.
have had this happen and I'm not comfortable writing a check to a kid I saw once 15+ years ago or never at all?
Then don't. Based on my experience and many of those responding, gifting for high school graduations isn't necessarily the norm in our culture so don't feel guilted into it by a message board thread.
not guilted, just didn't know what the 'norm' is in that situation or what others may do. Thanks.
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

Boy this evolved into a sad, sad thread.

If you are not close to the kid or family, no reason for a gift.

None of ours sent announcements or received gifts from friends or family. We celebrated each graduation as a family.

We've gotten a bunch of these announcements from much-loved nieces and nephews -- and spouse always sent a check or equivalent. Sometimes a lovely thank-you followed and sometimes it didn't. We did not do this with reciprocity in mind. :D

For many kids it's their only graduation.
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momvesting
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by momvesting »

RJ2010 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:52 pm Found this old topic. It discussed gifting to other people's kid.
I have a high school senior son. I'm looking for ideas on how to celebrate his graduation including gifts. He has latest Iphone and stuff. Nowadays, they consider anything school related as school supply. For example, if I buy an Apple laptop, it would be school supply (not a gift). He will do a senior trip with his friends and we will pay for it of course.

Looking for ideas. can you share what you did for your sons when your sons graduated from high school (in addition to tuition payment :happy)?
We ordered a bunch of stuff from the college she was headed to. Socks, T-shirts, a sweatshirt, a cap, a keychain, a lanyard, a Hydro Flask, a flag for her dorm room, and a bunch of stickers.

We went through this last year and no one expected the announcements to generate gifts. Quite a few people sent cards (but no gift), and my daughter read them over and over and kept them. At least where we live, the kids don't expect the announcements to generate gifts. They mail announcements to each other, to all their teachers, to past teachers, to relatives they have never met, to friends of their parents, etc. Also, we sent thank you cards for every gift, but not for cards. Also, I personally think it is okay to skip the thank you card if the gift is an extremely small token, like a sticker or keychain, but everything else, even as small as a $5 gift card, gets a thank you card. Also, buying a graduate a big pack of attractive thank you cards as a gift would be seen as thoughtful by the right kids!
BedHead2020
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Re: High School Graduation Gifts

Post by BedHead2020 »

Our standard high school graduation gift is $100 cash. Every high school graduate I’ve ever spoken to on the subject wants cash.
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