It’s Graduation Time To gift or not?

The graduation announcements are pouring in and that means shelling out a lot of money, or maybe not. Already, I have two invitations and I am sure there will be more. I am proud of these young people I have watched grow and follow their path. Now it’s time to reward them.

Everyone’s financial situation is different. You should not feel pressured to give an enormous amount of money. I say give what you can afford, when you can afford it. There’s no rush on getting it out right away. Also, the gift does not always have to be monetary.

If it’s a high school graduation, why not give a basket of goods that the recipient can use in college? It could be filled with toiletries they will need. Or how about an iron and ironing board? You could give a sheet set and pillows. A trash can filled with everything you need to do laundry. A gift of these little things will come in handy for the parent and student when they are moving into the dorm and trying to remember to buy all of the essentials.

Of course, a college graduate would love to have money to help them as they move on in life. But I think it’s also nice to give a gift that is meaningful, such as a collage of pictures showing them through the years so they can reflect on how far they have come and what your friendship with them means.

The Emily Post Institute says with graduation announcements you don’t have to give a gift at all. The institute’s website says, “It is an etiquette myth that if you receive a graduation announcement you must send a gift. Announcements do not equal invitations to a graduation. You are not obligated to give a gift, although you may choose to do so. Whether or not you send a present, a card or note of congratulations is always appreciated.”

I say do something. Acknowledge the accomplishment even if it is just a card or note. The words you put in that card can be extremely meaningful. I just finished sending out announcements of my own. My daughter Paige is graduating from law school. Even if people don’t respond with a gift, I sent those announcements out because I am so very proud of her and want the world to know.

I’ll be back to let you know how it all went. Happy giving!

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