Graduates on a beach tossing their caps into the air

The Grown-Up Graduate Gift Guide: Help Usher Them into Adulthood

The graduate in your life might feel like an adult. They have a degree and a fabulous new job. They have their own place (albeit with a roommate or four) and are paying their own bills. They might feel like their “adulting” the hell out of life.

But are they adulting at home? Does their place look like the abode of a grown-up  or an overgrown dorm dweller? Help the diploma-holder graduate from college living into adult life with these eight gift ideas.

Bowls, Dishes, and Cups That Actually Match

A blue and white striped plate on a plate stand

Banish those mismatched pieces to the back of the cabinet! A lovely bowl or dish set is an easy and inexpensive way to evolve from Animal House to House Beautiful. Ditch those disposable delivery chopsticks and get a box of the black and gold, red and gold, or jewel tone variety. Ragtag mugs with random logos? Replace those with lovely “boulder” style coffee cups, short or tall.

More Sophisticated Home Decor

Beautiful pink peonies in a melon shaped Chinese vase

Scotch-taped posters, candles, and string lights are fine for student housing, but not so much for a house for grown-ups. Help the graduate up their home decor game with a silk scroll for a refined touch. Even a small ceramic vase does wonders for a bouquet of flowers while a tasteful figurine, like these resting Buddhas, creates just the right atmosphere.

More Than a T-Shirt

A smiling young man wearing a lightweight black dragon shirt with gold designs

Sure, we love T-shirts (especially foodie, punny ones), but sometimes it’s nice to dress up. Enter the dragon shirt. Perfect on its own or over a simple white tee, this lightweight shirt comes in black, beige, and white with a gold dragon pattern.

A Sleepwear Upgrade

A young woman wearing sunglasses and white pajama outfit, and a young man wearing a black pajama outfit

We’re not saying get rid of those comfy PJs and bathrobe  just add a little something more elegant. Some silky jacquard pajamas for instance, or a robe in a pretty floral patterncool dragon print, or modern geometric design. Finish the sleepy ensemble of with a pair of comfy slippers, in brocade or velvet.

Tea that Doesn’t Come in a Bag

Canisters of Silver Needle Tea Company artisan tea leaves

Tea bags are convenient, but there’s something to be said for taking the time to steep an exquisite pot with high-quality tea leaves. Pu erh tea, which hails from Yunnan Province, comes in a compressed package which isn’t just cool looking but keeps the leaves fresh. The selections from the Silver Needle Tea Company, a NYC-based artisnal purveyor, are hand-picked and single estate, and come in lovely canisters. Finally, you can’t go wrong with the flavor that’s all the rage: matcha powders from Japan.

While you’re at it, consider including a tea set in ocean blue, dragonfly cast iron, or spring blossom.

Gourmet Snackage

Several bars of Kee's artisan chocolates

There’s no denying the awesomeness that are Kit-Kats, but how about some gourmet chocolate from a boutique NYC chocolatier in unique flavors like chili sesame and coconut almond? If savory is more their flavor, check out Tochi Snacks’ salted egg potato chips, handcrafted in small batches with all natural ingredients.

More Sustainable Consumption

An array of earth-friendly items, including red reusable lucky cat tote bag, tin lunch tiffins, water bottle, travel chopsticks, as well as Plantiful Plate cookbook

Nothing says adulting like treating Mother Earth right. Stainless steel tiffins for BYO lunch, light and compact bamboo utensils for eating out, reusable mesh and tote bags for grocery shopping. Help them put those groceries to good use — and get more healthy veggies into their diet — with a gorgeous cookbook from health coach and mindful eating guru, Christine Wong. Check out our whole sustainability collection.

Moments of Zen

Mini zen garden kit with cranes, small gazebos, rake, sand, and rocks

Being a grown up can be hard, no matter your age. Encourage relaxing moments with a meditative zen garden or mini bonsai kit, fragrant and soothing incense and incense accessories, or chrome or cloisonne “therapy” balls which help ease tension in the hands and the mind.

Want even more ideas? Check out some great gifts for under $50 and our whole line of Friendship Boxes.
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