June is marked by cruising through the grad party circuit and shopping for the perfect gift.
Graduation parties are great because I don’t have to cook. My family can hoover up some hot dish, salads and bars, congratulate grads with a slap on the back, then leave behind a gift or a card in recognition of their accomplishment.
You may ask: What should I get a graduate? We typically give money inside a card. If I have several grad parties on the calendar, I’ll buy a box of cards. That’s a little more cost effective and then I’m not running around at the last second searching for a forgotten card.
The closer we are to the graduate, the more money we give. The Miss Manners Guide For the Turn of the Millennium says, “Guests are under no obligation to gift a particular amount of money—enough to cover the supposed cost of their meal, for example.”
Other graduation gifts recommended by Emily Post’s Etiquette are: gift certificates, savings bonds, shares of stock, clock, watch, books or subscriptions to trade journals in his or her chosen field. I particularly like the book idea. Look for something inspirational or collectable and sign the inside cover with a note of encouragement.
We received a Calvin and Hobbes book of cartoons 16 years ago as a farewell gift when moving. Not only have we laughed our way through that book over the years, now our kids have, too. It’s still one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.
Father’s Day gift giving can be a little tougher. My husband likes tools and has specific ideas about them. That’s too difficult. So I typically buy a gift card.
If you purchase clothes, be cautious of the man’s style. I’ve tried to update my husband’s look with shirts meant to be worn un-tucked. But his rule of thumb is that a guy has to have cool hair to wear his shirt un-tucked. I’ll let you be the judge of whether that’s reasonable fashion advice.
He does have some pretty cool items that I believe most men would appreciate. An LED headlamp that he uses for camping, walking the dog at night or sitting around a campfire. Seems silly, but it’s incredibly practical.
Worktunes ear protection with AM/FM radio and iPod connectivity. My husband wears these to mow the lawn or while using power tools. He loves them!
If your father or husband is over 40, he might appreciate a pair of safety glasses with built-in reader magnification. They look cool and allow the wearer to read small print or work on more intricate projects without having to switch back and forth between sturdy eye protection and cheaters.
But my favorite Father’s Day gift is a stylish hat. It’s more practical than a tie in June because it keeps the damaging summer sun off your dad’s handsome face or bald head.
“Bring back great hats,” I say.
That’s Angela’s Angle on this Grad and Dad time of year!
P.S. The first pic is my dad, Tony, in a great hat. The other is my husband, Duane.