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High school graduation gift for a boy?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am having a hard time thinking of what to get my son. I can swing up to about $200, but would prefer less. He has the laptop he has to have for his college, shared the expense with us of a cheap car last year, does not care about a nice watch, and was not interested in the I-pad his grandparents and I would have gone in together to get him.

I got him a collection of used (but nice/newish) shirts from thrift stores for the college he'll attend in the fall. He has used a lot of the money from his job for music for his I-pod, and I can't imagine giving him a I-tunes gift card because he has so much music. In-laws gave him a camera years ago that he rarely uses.

Yes, I have directly asked him. He says he does not want anything.

Clearly, he has everything he needs and more. But I feel the need to get him something.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 9
My niece graduated this year and she didn't want anything either. So I got a piece of scrapbook paper in the same color as her college, a piece of vellum (kind of a see through paper - but opaque ) and a frame from the dollar store. I printed "In case of emergency break glass" on the vellum, put $50 I between the 2 papers and put it in the frame. I was prepared to do more money but my sister said it would make my niece feel weird. It came out really cute. And this way she (hopefully) can spend it guilt free because she won't be thinking about how many hours it took her to earn or that her parents have it to her.
post #3 of 9

Gift cards he can use at places on/near campus. 

College gear (sweatshirt, tshirt, sweats, lanyard - whatever you think he might use)

If he drinks coffee, a Keurig Mini and some pods. 

A Netflix acct.

post #4 of 9

gift cards for a gas station near campus


or put the $$ in his bank account in case he needs it once he is at school.

post #5 of 9

Is he going to be living in the dorms?  If so, could he use some sheets and towels, a mini-fridge (and/or a microwave), or other stuff for his dorm room?

post #6 of 9

A suit (careful shopping might find something under $200) for special occasions, job interviews and any other events he might attend at college


Luggage, Laptop bag, Backpack 


Camera or lenses (my 17 y.o. DD would love a couple of new lenses for her digital SLR)


Start a bank account in his name for travel, either during college breaks or post-grad. He can contribute to it and by the time he graduates, he can celebrate with a nice holiday.     


Does his college have sports teams or theatre or orchestra performances that offer season's tickets? How many would $100 or so buy?


A copy of a special book (something inspirational) and give the rest to him in cash or gift cards (maybe a gift card for his college bookstore where he'll be buying his textbooks) 


A couple of nice bottles of wine to start a cellar (I know people who started a cellar for their kid when he was born. It was a pretty good collection by the time he was in his teens and it will be excellent by the time he's on his own). 


Savings bond


N.B. Be careful buying electronics (coffee maker, bar fridge, kettles etc.) for a college dorm room. They often have restrictions about what (if anything) is allowable. 

post #7 of 9

A gift card for a grocery store or a few restaurants close to his dorm.  Dorm food sucks and he will eventually wish he could eat elsewhere.

post #8 of 9

Check out where he's going to college - most schools nowadays have some sort of card/account that local businesses accept. 


As for electrics for dorms... BTDT twice recently. Most will allow a microwave and minifridge (but you need to check on the size allowed). The only coffee makers allowed in most dorm rooms are Keurigs or similar, which do not have a hot plate. That's it in terms of cooking. 

post #9 of 9

Saw a great gift when I was on-line shopping for some other stuff - at least I thought it would be terrific for a new grad. 


A fluffy white bath towel with DON'T PANIC written in big bold letters. 


If you (and the new grad) don't get the joke, also give a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 

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