June 6, 2006
When finding the perfect graduation gift there are three categories: you can be practical, sentimental, or indulge. First the practical: When kids move out they need everything from furniture to towels to bedding.
"The blenders, the toaster oven, things that are common in your Mom's kitchen that you wouldn't think about," said Dabney Mason of Bed Bath & Beyond.
Then there's the traditional present. You can engrave picture frames, boxes, and glass paperweights.
"I would say the Jefferson Cups are always popular. They are a stand-by classic tradition especially in Charlottesville," said Elaine Townsend of The Engraving Shop.
The new things are clip watches for boys and Mason Pearson Hair Brushes for girls.
"It's monogrammed and it's probably the best hair brush in the world. Once you try one, you're not going to use anything else," said Townsend.
Now how about those things you don't need, but would love to have. Digital cameras and iPods are hot items--but there's a new trend that isn't cheep.
"You know if kids are going down to some of the southern schools, they are going to be doing some driving and they are absolutely going to need some of those XM Radios. They were popular over Christmas and they are getting more popular as we're getting towards graduation season," said Dave Stipe of Crutchfield.
Be creative. Pack the gifts in a storage container, one the grad can use later. But if you still don't know what to get--gift cards are always a good choice.
"It gives the opportunity for the student to choose what kind of gifts they want rather than the parent or a friend," Mason said.