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Graduation season is right around the corner, and that means the race is on to find the perfect gift for the graduate(s) on your list. Whether they’re heading off to college or wrapping up their university years, we’ve put together a selection of gifts to celebrate their accomplishments. And we’ve chosen gifts that are both thoughtful and functional, so you know your gift will be used and appreciated. Knock out the shopping now so you can enjoy the festivities when it’s time.

Card them

This is the one we wish we had thought up (but our bestie did), and it works for guys or girls: Find a great wallet and fill it with gift cards from restaurants and stores in the graduate’s college town. We think this hand-stitched needlepoint and leather beauty from Smathers & Branson at Oak Hall, $55, fits the bill nicely.

A wallet and gift cards.

Fill a wallet with gift cards from stores in the graduate’s new college town, and you’ll be the first thank you note he or she writes. Oak Hall, $55

Pretty, personalized pouches

So back in our Texas days, Jon Hart was the only bag in town for weekend travel, and it’s still a classic choice for a personalized gift. We adore the fact that you can find a state of Tennessee twist, too! Customizable and available in a variety of colors, $24 and up at RSVP Stationers

Jon Hart cosmetic bags

Jon Hart cosmetic bags are durable, classic gifts that you can personalize. $24 & up at RSVP Stationers

That’s a wrap!

It’s the perfect gift for a girl, and an even better gift when you have to buy for a LOT of girls. Shower wraps in a range of cute colors and patterns are $12.99 to $20.99 at Target, and you can add a colorful monogram for $6 to $9, depending on the size of the monogram. (One of our go-to embroidery shops in Memphis is Creative Stitches.)

Add a monogram to this cute Target bath wrap.

Add her monogram to a bath wrap, and voila! You’ve got an inexpensive gift she’ll adore. $12.99 to $20.99 for the wrap, from Target

A signature piece

Shinola is the hottest new American watch brand—a shining star in the Detroit comeback story—offering hand-crafted watches put together by craftsmen who trained extensively with a Swiss watchmaker. Exclusively in Memphis at James Davis, $550 & up (Find cool Shinola bikes at Outdoors Inc.)

Shinola watches at James Davis.

A new American keepsake: The Shinola watch, made in Detroit, $550 and up at James Davis

In the bag

Filson is one of America’s best brands. The Seattle purveyor of gear and luggage got its start as a Gold Rush outfitter back in the late 1800s. Durable and desirable, a Filson canvas travel kit bag, $90 at Hewlett & Dunn in Collierville, will last him through college and way beyond.

Filson dopp kit

Filson makes a rugged and timeless dopp kit that’s sure to be appreciated. $90 at Hewlett & Dunn

Sign of home

No matter how much they think they can’t wait to leave home, we all know they’ll really miss us. We hope. Send them off with a reminder of everything Memphis—or Germantown—with a hand-stenciled subway sign from me and mrs. jones, $65. Better yet, take a class ($95) and put your own mark on your gift!

A subway sign reminds them of home, form me and mrs. jones.

Send the graduate off with a piece of Memphis (or Germantown!) with a subway sign hand-painted at me and mrs. jones, $65. Image credit: Stephanie Jones

Raise a glass

Toast the college graduate with a set of  personalized, take-anywhere, practically unbreakable cups from The Cup Lady in Germantown. A personalized set of 50 nine-ounce cups is $84. Other sizes and quantities are available.

Cup Lady

Adult beverages taste better in a monogrammed cup from The Cup Lady. Image credit: The Cup Lady Facebook page

Sage advice

We adore Miss Manners—Judith Martin—for her spot-on, sometimes pointed, but always very correct advice. Now she’s turned her attention to business etiquette and cowritten Miss Manners Minds Your Business with son Nicholas Ivor Martin. For just $16.95, order through local fave Booksellers at Laurelwood.

Miss Manners minds your business - and you should thank her.

There’s no better guide for manners—business or otherwise—than Miss Manners. $16.95

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About the Author
Sally Walker