Ideas for Graduation Gifts

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by wisemom, May 4, 2013.

  1. wisemom

    wisemom New Member

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    My DS will be USAFA Class of 2017. I have several friends/family asking for suggestions of things to get him for high school graduation that he could use while at AFA. Could anyone give suggestions of things that would be useful (after BCT training)? Also, are there any restaurants, etc. on the campus that he could use gift cards? I thought I had read somewhere that there was a Burger King there? Any suggestions would be great! This is a first for our family....so we need ideas!
     
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    My suggestion for graduation gifts is always cash. Their time during Doolie year is very limited and cash is the most versatile thing to have for the times that they can do something. I know a lot of people think that cash is impersonal, but in this case it is the most practical.

    The Burger King on base is actually way over by the Commissary (about two miles from the cadet area) which is a pretty long walk for a Whopper. There is a Subway at the Visitor's Center which is only a 5 minute walk from the Chapel. I am not sure how often they could get up there. I really don't recall my son saying he went there very much.

    Stealth_81
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Gift cards with which they can shop online when they are permitted to do so?
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I have to agree with Stealth. Cash is probably the easiest and best graduation gift for an appointee. After A-Day we brought DS a 23 inch monitor and laserjet printer, but the use of these may be squadron dependent like so many other things that first year. For Christmas he requested that everyone in the family give him cash so that he could buy cycling gear as he is on the Cycling Team which brings us back to cash. The only good non-cash I can think of is gift cards as FencersMom said. Amazon.com might be a good one. Now that he is recognized and off base a bit more, we have sent Outback gift cards as there is an Outback restaurant not far off base but you must borrow a car or get a ride to get there.

    Cash is best . . .
     
  5. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    I'll echo what others have said: money.
     
  6. HeWantsTheBFE

    HeWantsTheBFE USAFA Class of 2017

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    Here's a suggestion from a graduating HS senior:

    Maybe a good watch? I know we won't be allowed to have it during BCT, but why not for during the year and other activities?

    That being said, I wouldn't mind a 23" monitor and a printer...
     
  7. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Wait to get a monitor and printer. Much easier to just buy it online and have it shipped out here...
     
  8. greentrees

    greentrees Member

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    Our DS wanted a really good electric razor -- not something others would give, but it was fine coming from us. Still uses it today as a Firstie.

    Otherwise cash was the best gift he received. 4* year he used it to pay for his snowboard pass, buy some snowboarding clothes. Not to mention using the cash for food whenever he could get off base to eat.

    Amazon cards work too as they can buy some of their books online (don't have to buy at the C-store).
     
  9. maxr3m

    maxr3m Member

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    I echo the razor. At the graduation party, I prepared postcards prelabeled with his BCT address. Family and friends filled these out, and I sent one or two to him a day (in an envelope - wouldn't want any unnecessary attention). It provided a taste of home and words of encouragement during BCT. DS was most appreciative.
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Right. I forgot about the electric shaver. DS got one before he left for NWP. That would be a great graduation gift. Go with the best: a Braun Series 7 .
     
  11. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Money is great, and on I-Day Armed Forces Bank is there to accept deposits, so you can amass your cadet's gift money for him and deposit it while he's getting ready to get on the bus (it also takes your mind off the parting!).
    Also, the thing my daughter wanted immediately after acceptance was her watch, so if your son doesn't have a nice one (i think they have to be relatively plain, black/silver) you might want to suggest that. But if you don't go up for A-Day, then mail it to him so he gets it in his post A-Day box. I don't think my daughter saw the contents of her I-Day backpack until Thanksgiving!
    A plain blue or black backpack with a very sturdy/comfortable handle is also good for their I-Day stuff.
    And we did the same thing...had friends/family write letters at her graduation party and then we mailed them daily, starting a couple days before she left for BCT. She said that there was nothing better than getting mail from home. They don't get mail daily, so getting alot per mail call allowed her to open some every day and provide her with a few words from home every day. Congrats and good luck!
     
  12. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 Member

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    The natural progression of gifts are as follows.


    Watch:
    Since 4th degrees all wear the same thing, they soon learn to like more fashionable watches to differentiate themselves. Think Swiss movements.:wink: The watches cannot stand out. I gave my DS my Omega. It's a classic design without the "bling". He was eyeing it at Acceptance Day so I pulled it off my wrist and gave it to him. Parents FYI: Your son or daughter will soon have plenty of disposable income. While they may not appreciate watches now, they many soon will get bit by that (expensive) bug. There are several cadets wearing watches north of $1000.

    After BCT: Printer and monitor.
    1.) Printer: (buy extra black cartridges). The printer has to be SMALL if you want it to squeeze in the bottom side of the desk. Look at the desk layout before you buy. Costco is has a great return policy is something goes wrong.

    2.) Monitor: There is a size constraint (I forgot how large). But most don't have speakers in the "monitor". But TV's do. A TV is a monitor with a built in tuner AND speakers. Why could speakers be important? After recognition day, many want their XBox or Playstations and they need audio to play them.

    Christmas:

    Snowboards, goggles, snowboard jackets etc. Also a "GoPro" is a popular but expensive item (google it). Golf Clubs might be on next years list.

    After Recognition:

    Music and video game boxes seem to be a priority. Small stereo's, nice headphones/earbuds all are appreciated.


    The rule of thumb is size matters: Smaller gifts are better. Money of course is REALLY small. :)
     
  13. Dad

    Dad Member

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    We did the same thing (don't forget the stamps). DS was never without at least one letter each day they were able to get mail.
     
  14. Dad

    Dad Member

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    I'm not sure I agree with you. The monitor and printer were not allowed until after A-Day. You could ship it to him (or carry it on the airplane if you're visiting on A-Day) at that time.

    My DS is not into 'bling' or other material things. I found it best to give him cash so that he could decide the best way to spend/invest it. He was unsure of what he could/couldn't do prior to I-Day. We let him figure out how he fit in at USAFA before getting specific gifts. Remember that each cadet is different and make your decision accordingly.

    My son had never snowboarded/skied before going to CO. We had considered getting him set up for winter activities, but were unsure on what sport, etc. My point is, getting gifts after Recognition is much easier since the cadets have a better understanding of the opportunities that they have. Some embrace video games, some like fancy watches, and some like accessories that are related to their hobbies (rock-climbing gear, time skydiving simulators, cross-fit training supplies, guitars, stereo equipment, skiing supplies, snowboard, hunting gear, etc.).

    For a graduation gift, cash is king. They can get more 'fun' stuff (for birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.) later. Just my thoughts.
     
  15. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Gift card to the spa. Yes, they have a spa with facials, manicures, etc. massages for both sexes and this is REALLY nice after training. Some also book spa appointments outside USAFA for PW.
     
  16. haleym

    haleym Member

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    That might be one that I have to suggest to my parents :shake:
     

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