A Graduation Gift with True Meaning

A Graduation Gift with True Meaning

The season of graduations is upon us.  Maybe you find yourself in the same place as me and have a senior graduating from high school this year.  As a matter of fact, two short years ago, my oldest was graduating, and I wanted to do something for him.  Something that was truly memorable.  I wanted to give him a gift that was meaningful; something he could cherish forever.  Ultimately, I think I hit on a great idea and today I’m sharing it with you.

What I did was create a hardcover photo book using an online photo album service like Shutterfly or Mpix. However, instead of just making your typical scrapbook of photos, I filled it with letters from closer friends and family.


hardback book cover for graduation gift


To begin the process, I began requesting letters a couple of months in advance by sending an email or letter to all of our closest friends and relatives that played a big role in my son’s life.  I asked them to share any advice or words of wisdom they could think of for my son as he started the next chapter of his life.



As the letters came in I also gathered a few photos of our son with each of the letter writers as well as photos of his growing up years and his senior portrait pics.    If the letter had been emailed to me, I could simply copy and paste into the online program.  On the other hand, if they hand wrote a letter I could simply scan it and upload it as a photo.


center page of grad book
At last, with all of the photos and letters uploaded onto the online book making design program it was just a simple matter of placing them on each of the pages.  Next, I added a few embellishments like colored fonts, stickers, or banners.  Each company is different so you’ll have to play around with their program.  However, they are all very user friendly so you’ll be able to figure it out easily.


photo page from graduation book


Once I had all of my letters and photos placed the way I liked them, I was ready to publish the book.  In just a couple of weeks the book arrived in time to present to my son at his graduation party.  The book was filled with meaningful letters that he took time to sit and read over the next few days.  If you know any teenage boys, you know that this is really saying something.   It was touching to watch him carry it around like a teddy bear for a few days.  I know it was something that really touched his heart.


page with letter from younger brother


I have already sent my email plea out to friends and family again for son #2’s graduation book.  This is a tradition that I know will hold a lot of meaning for each of my boys and is something that will become more precious as time goes by.  I hope this idea gives you a little inspiration to do something special for your graduate as well.  Still, this  isn’t limited to just graduation gifts.  It would also work for a wedding gift or a gift for new parents.


letter from mom for grad gift


Have you come up with a truly meaningful gift for someone?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.  Don’t forget, sign up for my email list here so that you don’t have to miss a post.  Each update will come directly to your inbox.

Until next time~


  1. OH I love this idea! I often make scrapbooks as gifts but I love that this was taken one step further. How wonderful to have letters and advice! Pinned.

  2. This is really sweet! I still have many of the cards and letters I received for high school graduation 26 years ago; I was touched at how many of my parents’ friends that I thought of as “people on the Christmas card list” sent me heartfelt wishes and gifts that were truly useful as I set out on my own. Actively recruiting people to write to your kids is a great idea.

    1. Author

      Thanks Becca. Yes, heartfelt words are always appreciated. My son really loves his. Thanks for dropping by today.

  3. This is so, so neat!!! I’m going to do something like this for my boys, too!

    1. Author

      Oh, thank you! I am so glad you like the idea. Book #2 is currently being printed for son #2. I think it’s something they will treasure in the years to come. Thanks for visiting.

  4. That is such a lovely gift! Thank you for sharing at Ravenwould.

    1. Author

      Thank you. I know I would love to receive a gift like this as well. 🙂 So glad you popped over today.

  5. That is very cool. What a neat thing to look back at after you’ve been adulting for 20 years.
    Thanks for sharing at Waste Not Wednesday.

  6. This is such a great idea! I’m going to have to remember this for my last two kids when they graduate.

    1. Author

      Thanks Erlene! I just did a second one for son #2 and I can say that the letters people write to them are very touching. It’s a great gift. So glad you visited.

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