It isn't always easy settling on a gift for the
bewildered and reluctant bright-eyed and enthusiastic college grad, especially when you're well aware that if you deviate from what they really want (read: cold hard cash) there's a good chance that said gift, however thoughtful, may wind up in a box shoved into the back of a closet in their first post-grad pad.
One suggestion that's not
an all-expenses paid trip to IKEA
? Give them something practical, something that they'll actually need and use in their first post-college home whether it's a shared rental or a micro-home-on-wheels
. Below you'll find my top gift picks, selected with an emphasis on unique and utilitarian items designed and/or manufactured in America with a few grad-appropriate purely decorative (and fun) items thrown in for good measure.
Sure, you may be on the receiving end of a confused stare if you bestow your 23-year-old nephew with a couple of light bulbs, a water filter, and a doormat as a graduation gift. However, you can remain confident that your gifts will be used at some point down the line — because if there's anything that cash-poor recent college grads hate spending their own money on, it's things like light bulbs, water filters, and doormats. Think of it this way: you're doing them a favor.
And while we're on the topic of college graduation gifts, what's the most bizarre/useless thing that you received? What about a cherished, utilitarian item that you still use today?
Thumbs Up Trophy by iamhome @ CB2
Key Target by Bower @ Areaware
The Hostess Collection: Oven Mitt and Pot Holder by John Hiemenz @ shopSCAD
Sunrise Door Mat @ Izola
Foodie Garden - Scotch Bonnet Pepers @ Poketo
Soma Water Filter @ Drink Soma ($99 - Glass carafe/1-year filter supply)
PinWorld Map + Wall Map Diary by Palomar @ A+R Store
Twain Catch-all @ Izola
Philips SlimStyle 60W Equivalent Soft White Dimmable LED Light Bulb @ The Home Depot
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