Graduating from another school grade is a great accomplishment. We celebrate the many milestone years and yes, Junior Kindergarten was cute. We had a classroom party with parents contribution food and a mini-ceremony.  Then they graduate from elementary school, high school and post secondary. Oh my! Time flies! Seriously.

We’ve always believed in celebrating another year of learning but gifts were never really a big deal. A trip to the ice cream shop in younger years was a perfect way to end a school year.  The marks they’ve earned on their report cards are always the most rewarding. But we know how hard our kids have been working especially in the older grades and okay, we want to give them something to mark the occasion. Leaving high school is a big deal. Graduating from college or university is even greater.

We’ve got a few ideas for gifts and we’ve also checked in with some families to find out if they had any traditions. Here are some of our favourites for our graduates!

WATCHES: Timepieces have traditionally been given to graduates. Symbolic of time of yesterday, today and tomorrow it’s one of the most significant gifts. There are families who pass down legacy pieces and of course, new watches and the movement continues to be strong. Of course nowadays, we all wonder if our young adults would even wear a watch anymore. A legacy piece like is like nice jewellery, you may just bring it out for special occasions. But the gift of a watch doesn’t need to break the bank. An Apple Watch Series 3 tops our list that combines the thoughtfulness of a timepiece with current technology.  We also love the wide variety of stylish Swatch watches that are also considered collectibles.

UPGRADING LAPTOPS: As they move onto college or university, now is the time to upgrade their tech gear if you haven’t done so in the past maybe 4 years. The latest innovations and technology will help get them through the next few years. It’s a good idea to learn what’s best for the user. Visit stores to learn more about the various options available on Microsoft Surface and Apple MacBook Pro with your kid to find out what they want and need. Make sure you give them lots of memory space and keep in mind they will do a lot on their laptops aside from assignments and homework. They’ll be downloading music, streaming shows and YouTube, FaceTiming home to find out how to do make their favourite comfort foods, making videos and more. BTW, be sure to inquire about college/university student offers.JEWELLERY: We often have our favourite pieces of jewellery that were given to us that have sentimental value. They’re usually pieces we can wear everyday to remind us that we’re loved. Maison Birks has gained much attention over the past couple of years with their lines including the Muse Collection that reminds us to follow our dreams. We also love Links of London and their latest collaboration with Ascot Collection. The Lucky Clover and Horseshoe Necklace is perfect for everyday reminders of just how lucky we are.

CHILDHOOD BOOKS: Remember that favourite book your child had you read over and over and over again? It may be a good time to   gift this book with a personalized message. Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss is a great one to gift now.

PHOTO & FAVOURITE RECIPE BOOK: Create your own custom photo book filled with family photos as well as a few of your child’s all time family favourite recipes. You’ll probably want to make yourself a copy too! Check out Blurb.ca to create a beautiful and professional quality keepsake. If you’re crushed for time, also check out VistaPrint.ca

FORD DRIVING SKILLS FOR LIFE EXPERIENCE: If your graduate is heading off to college or university and will need to drive, take a look at the award-winning programThis community program offered by Ford Canada allows new young drivers to experience advanced hands-on driver training and education in a safe, stimulated and carefully controlled environment.

PENS: Another beautiful legacy gift is a beautifully crafted pen. Although we know they barely write anything on paper anymore, a great pen would be saved to be used for important documents, or signing autographs when they become famous. Mont Blanc is the first brand to come to mind. This Writers Edition Antoine Saint-Exupéry Limited Edition Fountain Pen celebrates a writer with an ever-beautiful message. The fountain pen remembers the sky exactly as Saint-Exupéry saw it on 1st November 1929 at 23:00. Look closely on the barrel and cap to see a special engraving.

COMPASS: Another friend had suggested this lovely traditional gift. Include a personalized message and thought of finding your way in the world as well as finding your way back home. Check the Tiffany & Co.  Tiffany 1837 compass is Sterling Silver.

THE NIGHT SKY: create a custom star map of the most precious moment in time. Birthdays are the most common dates used but you can use the graduation moment, or whatever date that’s significant. The star map is 18″ x 24″ poster size on high quality art matte paper. Design it on your computer and it’s shipped to you within weeks.

GIFT CARDS: Family members who want to give something may want to consider gift cards. One mom said it was ideal since at university the kids are often eating from a cafeteria meal plan in residence. If they’re on their own and live off campus a gift card to a restaurant breaks the rut of sandwiches, KD, and quick fast food grabs. Source out local chain restaurants near schools — a welcome change from cafeteria food once in a while.