Feel free to leave this list lying casually about the house.by Guest Blogger Keith Kaplan I ALBION COLLEGE: Brains (double-major honors student, Mortar Board, College Fellow) and brawn (swim team captain and an avid outdoorsman who most days can be seen paddling on the river that runs through his campus). Regular blogger. Co-founder of the eponymous DK Cookies (on Facebook!).
- So you’re a graduate now. Time to move on to the next thing, right? Not quite yet; don’t go anywhere until you get your graduation gift. Some families have a tradition of giving “green” (as in money) gifts on big occasions. Others favor the idea of giving a specific gift – something more permanent that will be treasured for years to come. Then there are those who just can’t seem to make up their minds about what gift to get their newly-minted graduate and need your help, or at least a few hints.
So I’ve compiled a short list of some of the top graduation gifts this season. (You may feel free to leave this list lying casually on the kitchen table, nesting in a stack of bills about to be paid, or taped to the screen of the GPS in your dad’s car.)
1. Gift cards are a popular item these days. A great place to get them: GiftZip.com. This site specializes in providing eco-friendly eGift cards, and has a variety of retailers and gift-card amounts to choose from. If you’d rather buy offline, you can usually find a wide variety of gift cards for sale at your nearest chain discount or big-box store.
2. Smartphones are another sure-to-please gift as we continue to move towards an all-wireless world. (Just make sure you have at least some idea of your graduate’s preferences when it comes to platform – big difference between Android and iOS – and features.) The “big three” cell phone service providers – AT&t, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint – all sell smartphones. For less expensive options, Metro PCS, U.S. Cellular and Cricket are great choices.
3. Smartphones are popular, but Tablets are growing even faster. If you don’t know what a tablet is, check this link out, and yes, an iPad is a tablet. (Until recently the iPad was the best-selling tech gadget of all time; but in Q1 2011 it was toppled from first place by Microsoft’s hands-free game controller, Kinect for Xbox 360.). One of the great advantages of a tablet is that it doubles as an e-reader. So instead of hauling around 60 pounds of textbooks, carry a tablet and read that instead. The best place to buy a tablet: Check out newegg.com.
4. If a tablet isn’t for you, check out a Laptop. Would you not agree life without a computer is difficult, especially for a graduate? If you’re entering college, you will definitely need a computer, preferably a laptop. If you’re graduating from college, it’s probably time for a new computer because a) you’ve worked your old one into the ground, and b) you’re going out into the real world and let’s face it, you need to keep up with the new technology. The best place to search for almost any tech gadget is newegg.com. They consistently have lower prices than any other retailer, online or brick-and-mortar.
5. Another great graduation gifts is a GPS – instantly recognizable by the little screen above a car’s dashboard and otherwise known as the “Save me, I’m lost” device. The two biggest GPS brands today are Garmin and TomTom. A GPS is a worthy graduation gift because graduates moving on to new places will need a guide to tell them what road to take (I’ll leave the metaphysical implications here for another day).
6. The last hot item on the list is transportation, either a bike or car. Getting a new car is almost every student’s dream, but that could be a little pricey for a graduation gift. A bicycle, on the other hand, is not only more affordable, it can actually be an easier (and far cheaper) way to commute to and around campus. If you’ve graduated and don’t plan on more schooling, use that bike to commute to your new job. Or take up a new hobby like mountain biking or cycling. A great place to check out new bikes for cheap is bikesdirect.com (hint, hint, Mom and Dad, this is may be what I want for my graduation gift).
These are some of my top items for graduation gifts. What are yours?
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