Graduation Gift Season

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We are in the midst of high school graduations which means we are also in the midst of graduation gift season.  I imagine most graduates would like to get that shiny new car as a graduation present.  I also imagine that most will be disappointed if that is what they are expecting.

My boys are all a few years past this milestone and each received the ubiquitous, but practical gift of a laptop computer to take with them to college.  A friend pointed out to me that today is the anniversary of my high school graduation.  Of course many things have changed since I graduated, especially in all things dealing with technology.  So, when I graduated I was happy to get an electric typewriter that I could take to college.  It served its purpose and made it through most of my higher education.  Its usefulness was diminished by a fire that occurred in my apartment one Thanksgiving break.  The typewriter survived but afterwards was prone to randomly skip spaces while typing and the return no longer worked properly. (Today’s graduates will have no comprehension of  that last sentence.)

So what is the right gift for the Class of 2016?  It seems that money still has not gone out of style and is appreciated by graduating seniors.  Bicycles, laptops and luggage are popular and useful gifts.  Gas cards are popular, but not too exciting.  Board games also remain popular.  It is interesting to see the gifts “not to give” to graduates – these include teddy bears with “Class of 2016” on them, paperweights, children’s books (“Oh, The Places You’ll GO”) and pens.

I can understand most of those on the “not to give list” but pens?  I know a pen is not the most exciting gift in the world; however a good pen is a very practical and useful gift.  Plus, a pen is a gift that will last for many years.  As I mentioned I received a typewriter for graduation and it was useful for several years.  I also received other gifts, many which have been long forgotten.  There are two graduation gifts that I received that I still have.  My Uncle Earl and Aunt Marie gave me a gold Cross pen and pencil set and Mr. & Mrs. Young, the parents of the girl I dated my senior year of high school gave me a silver Cross pen.  I have used the gold pen and pencil set rather sparingly over the years, apparently I am waiting to grow up or something before I can use them on a regular basis.  But I still have them and appreciate them.  The silver cross pen is another story. It has seen a lot of use over these years and it definitely has a good deal of wear and tear.  I think the wear and tear give it character and when I pick it up I am reminded of all that has happened since that day when I thought I had become an adult.

If you are a graduate and someone gives you a nice pen for a gift, do not look down on it, it might very well be with you longer than any other gift in your graduation treasure chest.  The pen is mightier than the sword and they both last a very long time.

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