Ask-Design-Mom-Question:
[ I received two graduation related questions — one for males, one for females — that I’ll try to answer in the same post. ]

1) Design Mom, My sister (who I’m very close to) is graduating from high school next week. I’m a little late to thinking about it, but I wondered if you had any ideas for not too expensive gifts that would be nice and meaningful as she steps into another phase of her life. I was going to make her something that celebrated our relationship, but time is running out, so I’ll have to find something that is meaningful that I can purchase and mail. Thanks! — Laura

2) Hi Design Mom, I guess my question is this: I’m looking for a graduation present for my husband who is graduating from medical school. I think presents for guys are hard in general, but congratulatory presents always seem to stump me. You want them to be something nice that he can remember he got for graduation, but he’s not especially sentimental. We’re moving soon, so I don’t want something I have to work on or put time into creating, I just want to buy something nice that he can keep, not ridiculously expensive, but I’m willing to spend money if it’s worth it. Got any ideas? Thanks a ton! — Jen



Design Mom Answer:
Oh! Graduation gifts. So fun! What do you say Design Mom Readers? Any brilliant ideas?

5/24 Edit:
Wow. The comments are in deed full of brilliant ideas. I have only 2 things to add.

1) For my high school graduation I was given a 1/2 gallon of my favorite ice cream (Snelgrove’s Canadian Vanilla) and I didn’t have to share a single bite with my siblings — which was luxurious. My point? Even a simple gift, if thoughtful, is memorable.


2) I was just introduced to a book called Get A Hobby. It’s very well put together and well designed with a basic introduction, history and sources on 101 hobbies. Plus you can take a personality quiz to see which hobbies would be a good fit.

Probably it’s a stretch, but there’s something about graduating, going to the next phase, being a little unsure of what’s coming, that brings to mind possibilities. Like, “I’ve finished what I committed to. Now. If I could do anything, how would I spend my time?” that seems like the perfect moment to introduce a hobby. Maybe this book, plus the materials to start a new hobby would make a good gift.

photo via Getty