Good morning! It’s Elizabeth speaking to you today about great graduation gifts for boys. I have moms calling me all the time during the month of May to ask my suggestions on graduation gifts. I can honestly say that I do speak with authority because I am the mother of five (count ‘em) boys, three who have graduated in years past and one who is walking the stage next week!

Even though boys don’t tend to be too effusive when they are 18 years old, they LOVE to unwrap those graduation gifts and think about how they’ll use them when they have flown the home coop and headed to college. Without beating around the bush, I’m going to give you my top 10 for boys. Here goes!

1. A gift card to the student’s college bookstore or to a retailer who caters to the off-to-college crowd

2. Monogrammed towels, Dopp kit, or other bath related items

3. Cute boxers

4. Small appliances

5. His state flag to hang on dorm room wall

6. Desk organizer items

7. Framed pictures (of family or friends)

8. Big, soft duffle bag

9. Garment bag

10. A blanket in the student’s college colors

Let me tell you why these items made my top 10 list. Gift cards may seem impersonal, but for a kid going off to college, there are so many things he or she needs. All college bookstores have their items on-line these days, and it’s a thrill for the new graduate to buy items there. Stores such as The Container Store specialize in off-to-college merchandise and are full of multi-purpose items that any student can use. Even a gift certificate to Amazon.com is great because you know that literally everything can be found on Amazon!

I never thought that monogrammed towels or a monogrammed Dopp kit would be a big deal, but my college kids told me they were great and never got lost. When my boys came home after 4 years of college, they all had their towels and Dopp kits, so you know they were well used!

Boxers – who doesn’t like a cute pair of boxers? It’s one of those things that you don’t necessary spend a lot of money on for yourself, but love to get. One of my sons received several pairs of boxers from Vineyard Vines and thought it was a great gift. I have to agree.

As far as small appliances are concerned, I am talking small! What student wouldn’t want a blender, sandwich grill, or hot dog cooker in their room for those late night snacks and beverages? Remember that most colleges provide mini refrigerators and microwave ovens on a rental basis to students, so don’t necessarily worry about that sort of larger scale items.

In addition to being a reminder of home, the state flag is a great way to make friends during the first week of school. When our boys moved into their dorm rooms, they immediately hung the Texas flag above their beds. It was amazing to see how quickly people poked their heads in and made a comment about Texas. Great conversation starter!

Desk organizer items are MUST HAVE items. It’s great to start of college with fresh pens, pencils, sticky notes, etc. You can make a cute gift bag with all those sorts of items in them, knowing they will all be well used. Our friends at www.Levenger.com have some of the greatest desk accessories and tools for students anywhere!

If you have a lot of kids on your gift list, consider framed pictures from high school events. Your student may be way too old for that teddy bear from childhood, but pictures of friends from home are always loved and appreciated. It’s an inexpensive but precious gift to kids who are leaving home for the first time.

I highly recommend packing your child’s stuff in large soft duffle bags for two main reasons – they hold a lot and they can be folded easily for storage. That great big hard-sided suitcase may also hold a lot, but where is your student going to put it during the school year? Trust me, there is so little space in a dorm room that you must always go for the item that is easily stored and tucked away. Big duffels are great!

A good solid garment bag is another item that every college student needs. For boys, you’ll want to put one good suit, dress shirt and tie into it and hang it in the dorm closet. For girls, put a nice party dress and accessories in there. Although they may not be frequently used at college, the clothes will be waiting there (fresh and pressed) when the time comes. It may be for a social event, a diner with the dean or visit to another university, or an interview for a campus job or internship. Whatever, the reason, having a set of “dress clothes” ready to go is a must, and a garment bag is the place to keep them.

If you have more ideas for great college gifts for boys, let us hear from you!