14 gifts not to give graduates

Lucky Magazine

Magnifying paperweight

(Photo courtesy of barneys.com)

Getting a diploma is exciting, but so is unwrapping the congratulatory presents that come with it. That is, until you come across one of these things below, which are basically the opposite of fashionable interview shoes and envelopes laced with $20s.

Instead, they're either boring or bizarre graduation presents (or just not occasion-appropriate) and we wouldn't suggest buying any of them for a recent grad. Unless, of course, that graduate is really obsessed with snowglobes, in which case, more power to you.


For a grad?: Yawn, yawn, boring yawn.

Do give them to: Your fancy uncle that shelves leather-bound books in a proper library.

Magnifying paperweight, $550, Ari D. Norman, barneys.com

Home Decor

(Photo courtesy of dwellstudio.com)

Home Decor

For a grad?:  No, because they probably need to get an Ikea futon or a non-air matress bed before trinkets or anything deemed an "object."

Do give them to: A 30-something who's already had time to decorate her bookshelves with perfectly hodge podge frames and knick knacks.

Pyramid objects, $125 for 3, dwellstudio.com

(See also: Designer Phillip Lim collaborating with Target for Fall collection)

Desktop Games

(Photo courtesy of urbanoutfitters.com )

Desktop Games

For a grad?: Good luck getting them to be productive in the job hunt. (And if they have one already, probably not the best idea to show up on the first day with this.)

Do give them to: The dude whose wife won't let him have the full-on man cave. Or your fifth-grader brother.

Desktop sports kit, $10, urbanoutfitters.com


(Photo courtesy of tiffany.com)


For a grad?: At least a pocket watch will tell you the time when your cell phone dies, but a compass? Unless you're planning a sailing trip after graduation, they're pretty useless.

Do give them to: That old world nostalgic person who insists on having a globe or a non-ironic typewriter in his living room.

1837 compass, $325, tiffany.com

Kitschy Mugs

(Photo courtesy of fredflare.com)

Kitschy Mugs

For a grad?: They're funny for a second, but then you sort of hate that you can never bring them to work or have a grown-up conversation while holding one.

Do give them to: Your boyfriend's obnoxious roommate.

Toilet mug, $16, fredflare.com

Overly-Themed Frames

(Photo courtesy of thingsremembered.com)

Overly-Themed Frames

For a grad?: Go the classic route instead: a silver frame with the date quietly engraved.

Do give them to: A grandparent, the one who still keeps a packet full of wallet-sized family photos to show people who never asked anyway.

Spinning frame, $29.99, thingsremembered.com

Success water globe

(Photo courtesy of thingsremembered.com)


For a grad?: Unless they have winter scenes and are part of a seasonal display, snowglobes are the most pointless things ever. Don't even get me started on this one, which has a globe inside a globe (WTF?). And, of course, you can't even bring it on a plane.

Do give them to: Your best friend with the best sense of humor, so she can display it proudly and then wait for people to comment.

Success water globe, $34.99, thingsremembered.com

Piggy Banks

(Photo courtesy of bloomingdales.com)

Piggy Banks

For a grad?: Not unless has money in it.

Do give them to: A grad, if it has money inside.

Classic piggy bank, $50, Reed & Barton, bloomingdales.com

Inspirational Stones

(Photo courtesy of redenvelope.com)

Inspirational Stones

For a grad?: Seriously, you're going to give someone rocks? Rocks? Even if they've got uplifting words pressed into them, they're still just one step above giving someone coal at Christmas.

Do give them to: Your artsy, yoga-obsessed aunt, the one who always handmakes you ceramic jewelry for birthdays.

Good luck stones, $39.95, redenvelope.com

Commemorative Pillows

(Photo courtesy of redenvelope.com)

Commemorative Pillows

For a grad?: Keep the "Class of ..." stuff to t-shirts they can sleep in, not things to decorate their house with. It's too much nostalgia.

Do give them to: A grad, if they're going to keep it in a cozy tv room or use it for travel or something. (Just don't make them feel guilted into displaying it in their living room.)

Throw pillow cover, $59.95, redenvelope.com

Workout Gear and Clothes

(Photo courtesy of sharperimage.com)

Workout Gear and Clothes

For a grad?: It's not the right moment to slide in a "please lose weight" spur.

Do give them to: Gym rat friends, for any other occasion.

Kettlebell solution, $39.99, sharperimage.com

Light Therapy Visors

(Photo courtesy of sharperimage.com)

Light Therapy Visors

For a grad?: Maybe they're moving north and might actually want this in due time, when it's darker than they're used to and vitamin D isn't exactly easy to come by. But don't scare them away from winters before they even get there.

Do give them to: Newly northern-ized grads, once they go through their first winter.

Light therapy visor, $100, sharperimage.com


(Photo courtesy of barneys.com)


For a grad?: It's a little creepy, like it's for all the anti-anxiety meds they'll need once they hit college or the real world.

Do give them to: Someone who you know uses a pillbox (that's important) because this one is boss.

Rider and horse pillbox, $195, ari d. norman, barneys.com

Workout Gear and Clothes

(Photo courtesy of amazon.com)

Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

For a grad?: No, because by now it's about as cliché as people reading from The Velveteen Rabbit at their wedding and thinking they're original. Stop the madness.

Do give them to: Kids, of course.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss, $9.50, amazon.com

More from Lucky:

50 Unique Engagement Rings

8 Outfits Men Love on Women

50 Swimsuits Under $50

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Mariah Carey’s Rep Confirms Star’s Split From Billionaire Fiance James Packer After Fight in Greece: Read the Statement

      Mariah Carey’s rep confirmed that the star split from her billionaire fiance, James Packer, after a fight in Greece — see the statement

      Us Weekly
    • This photo of a dog with a mouthful of ladybugs is freaking out pet owners

      The photo that Kansas veterinarian Lindsay Mitchell posted to Facebook looked so unreal and disturbing that some who saw it went right to the hoax-busting website Snopes to verify it. But that didn’t stop the photo from being shared more than 53,000 times since it went up last week. Mitchell, of Hoisington, Kan., posted a graphic picture of a dog with a mouthful of Asian lady beetles. Ladybugs aren’t so cute when 30 to 40 of them are stuck to the roof of a dog’s mouth. “This is the second pup I have seen like this today. If your pet is drooling or foaming at the mouth look for these lady bugs. They cause ulcers on the tongue and mouth and have a very painful bite,” she wrote on the Hoisington

      The Charlotte Observer q
    • Kim Kardashian Concierge Reveals New Robbery Details: ‘They Weren’t There for Jewels’

      ET sits down exclusively with the concierge during Kim Kardashian's robbery, who recalls the terrifying events of Oct. 3.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen predicted the election 15 years ago

      It’s a little-known fact, but once upon a time 15 years ago, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had a lifestyle magazine. The publication,…

      Hello Giggles
    • Cat Found With Acid Burns on Face Finds Home: 'Half of His Face was Melted'

      Sir Thomas Trueheart, also known as Tommy, is a very playful cat despite nearly losing one of his nine lives in a horrific acid attack.

      Inside Edition
    • The future of US naval dominance summed up in one picture

      In the above picture we see just one large boat, the USS Zumwalt, and just one plane, an F-35C, but that's likely all the US Navy will need to dominate the seas in the future. Despite being the US Navy's largest-ever destroyer, the USS Zumwalt is a ship so stealthy that it appears as a small fishing boat on enemy radars and sometimes has to deploy mirrors to make it more visible to friendly traffic on the open ocean. "If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt," Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of the US Pacific Command, told CNN.  Both the Zumwalt and the F-35 share one key concept of the Navy's vision looking forward — modularity. With a large rear flight deck and a oversized power

      Business Insider q
    • Angry grizzly bear charges couple twice; what they did possibly saved their lives

      John and Lisa Vandenbos were scouting for fishing spots along the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park on Saturday when they spotted an adult grizzly bear feeding on a partially consumed carcass. The grizzly bear was obviously surprised and was in no mood to share in its bounty, so it immediately charged the couple, coming to within 9 feet, according to Yellowstone National Park spokeswoman Morgan Warthin. Fortunately, the couple from Bozeman, Montana, were prepared and both quickly discharged their bear spray. “The bear initially left,” Warthin wrote. “When attempting to charge the couple again, it ran into the original cloud of bear spray. Upon making contact with the cloud, the bear retreated

      GrindTV.com q
    • Tomb of Christ opened for the first time in centuries

      Researchers have uncovered the original surface of what is traditionally considered the tomb of Jesus Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The tomb's surface had been covered by a thick layer of marble, according to an exclusive by National Geographic. "The marble covering of the tomb has been pulled back, and we were surprised by the amount of fill material beneath it," said Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society working at the site.

      International Business Times UK q
    • VIDEO: Man pistol whips scary clown prankster in California

      A video showing a man dressed as a clown scaring random people in Northern California has gone viral after one man pistol whipped the prankster.

      KABC – Los Angeles
    • What Will Happen to Mariah Carey’s Ring from James Packer?

      If the news of Mariah Carey’s split from James Packer is permanent, there are some very important custody arrangements to work out. Who gets to take the jet to her children’s sports games and performances?

    • Donald Trump’s March to Loserland Is Only Beginning

      Donald Trump’s march to Loserland is only just beginning. His real pain starts the day after Election Day. As they say in his native Queens, what goes around comes around. And come it will. Accelerated business losses. A continent-wide clamoring to remove his miasmic moniker from buildings. Multiple looming lawsuits, two of them fraud actions arising from Trump University, one of those before federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, whom he suggested was biased because of his ethnicity. Trump will also face revelatory depositions should he follow through on threats to sue the 11 women who have recently accused him of sexual transgressions. He might remember his deposition during his 1990 divorce

      The Daily Beast q
    • Michael Massee, Actor Who Accidentally Killed Brandon Lee During Filming of 'The Crow,' Dies at 61

      Michael Massee, the actor who unfortunately will forever be known as the man who accidentally shot and killed Brandon Lee on the set of the 1994 film The Crow, has died. Massee’s death was first announced by actor Anthony Delon and confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by a representative of his agent at Greene & Associates in Los Angeles. In just his second movie appearance, Massee was playing a character known as Funboy when he fired a revolver that had been improperly prepared by crew members at Brandon Lee, the son of famed martial arts star Bruce Lee.

      The Hollywood Reporter
    • Tom Cruise ‘Serious’ With Girlfriend of Several Months

      Four years after his divorce from Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise has found love again — Us has all the details

      Us Weekly
    • Russell Wilson's injuries are even worse than we thought

      First, on the knee injury, Wilson told Seattle media he wasn’t supposed to play for four weeks. Wilson, with the help of a live-in therapist, never missed a game. Wilson has a pectoral injury he’s dealing with.

      Shutdown Corner
    • Apple's cord situation is completely out of control

      Apple's newest computer, the MacBook Pro, looks pretty great: It's got fast chips, a...

      Business Insider
    • 69 of Hillary Clinton's Best Style Moments on Her 69th Birthday (69 photos)

      Hillary Clinton is 69. Here are 69 of her best style moments. Follow us on Instagram , Facebook and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

      Yahoo Style
    • The significance of what Daenerys Targaryen is wearing in this Season 7 leaked photo is INSANE

      Leaked photos from the set of Game of Thrones just keep on coming and with them? Game of Thrones Season 7 spoilers! With these…

      Hello Giggles
    • ‘I Went Back to Him, to the Home I Feared I Might Die In’

      The last thing that I remember before falling down the stairs was my husband’s hand wrapped so tightly around my throat that the edges of my vision had begun to turn black, and my desperately clawing at his face in an attempt to do anything needed to get away.

      Yahoo Beauty
    • Mariah Carey 'dumped' by billionaire fiance James Packer but keeping $10m engagement ring

      The fairytale may be over for Mariah Carey and her fiance James Packer with reports claiming the couple have split. The Australian businessman is alleged to have ended his 10-month engagement to the US pop star due to her extravagant spending in the midst of their wedding preparations. Packer, 48, proposed to Carey, 46, in January 2016 after almost a year of dating and presented the Grammy-winning singer with a $10m (£8.1m) engagement ring which he is reportedly allowing her to keep.

      International Business Times ONC UK q