Choosing a Luxury Personalised Gift to Commemorate Graduation



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“The purpose of a graduation gift is to celebrate an achievement and mark a moment.” So said Genevieve Dreizen, co-founder and Creative Director at America’s Fresh Starts Registry. As such, graduation gifts are likely to be treasured and remembered far longer than other gifts for routine celebrations like birthdays. Adding a personal touch, such as a monogram or initials makes your gift stand out from the crowd. Here, we offer some guidance on making the right choice.

Achieve the Personalised Touch with Your Graduation Gift

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A memorable gift can be luxurious and personal without being expensive. There are some beautiful custom graduation gifts that the graduate can treasure for life, such as personalised pen sets and money clips. Choose something that can be engraved or personalised in a way that memorialises the occasion, mentioning the giver, the receiver, and that the item was given on the event of his or her graduation.

The important thing is to make this a meaningful keepsake, not something that will be used and then forgotten, as is the case with, for example, a cash gift or something to eat or drink. There is certainly a place for this kind of gift too, especially for America’s graduate generation, but that is something we will look at more closely in just a moment.

Make Your Gift Relevant to the Graduate’s Next Steps

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Memorable is important, but so is relevant. Get that wrong, and the keepsake will find its way into the back of a drawer, and will not be seen from one year to the next. For example, that personalised pen set is perfect for the graduate who still likes to write longhand, but less so for someone who exclusively uses digital media for writing and note-taking.

Also, give some thought to what the graduate is doing next in life. This is likely to fall into one of three categories, and it can drastically influence what sort of graduation gift would be more appropriate and appreciated:

Further studies: If this is a high school graduation, or a graduate is proceeding to post-grad studies, there is a good chance he or she will be making the transition from living with parents to university dormitory life. A gift like a personalized lanyard or a document organizer is something they would use every day. Or you could gift something like a personalised name sign for their room.

Travels: studies by Inside Higher Ed show that the proportion of US graduates taking a gap year reached an all-time high of 40 percent in 2020. Granted, that was partially due to wider world events, but it is still an option that is popular among at least a third of students. The right graduation gift can become part of the adventure, for example, a personalised pen set for journaling or perhaps a monogrammed passport holder.

Adulting: Of course, for the majority, graduation represents a transition to adult life, a first job and, in short, the real world. A practical gift such as a personalised wallet or something for their first home, such as a wooden sign is the kind of graduation gift they will appreciate and that will be used every day.

Memories Are Just as Important as Mementos

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We said earlier that a luxury graduation gift should ideally be a memento that will be treasured for years. But the personalised touch trumps all, and there are some cases in which memories are more important than mementos. Deloitte’s 2023 summer travel survey reveals that US Millennials and Gen-Z value experiences over possessions.

If this rings true with the recipient of your graduation gift, then by all means, buy them a small memento, using the suggestions given above. But also consider a unique experience that is tailored to the graduate’s personal taste.

This might be anything from dinner in a fancy restaurant to a graduation party for the ages to a return flight to a luxury travel destination that means something special. Also consider giving an experience that only you can provide – the gift of your time, knowledge, and experience. Graduation is a moment in life when we need all the help and support that is available. That can be part of your unique and personalised graduation gift, too.

For more on the latest in gifting reads, click here.

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