My sister is having a “graduation party” for her child in Kindergarten. Has this become a new tradition and do I buy a gift?
No. It doesn’t fall under the traditional graduation ceremony, but if you are invited to a party in someone’s honor, you should bring a gift. Much like you would at a birthday party or a baby shower, it would be uncomfortable to show up empty handed.
Is cash too impersonal to give to a neighbor who is graduation from high school?
No. Safely delivering cash to your young neighbor is a gesture of congratulations. They will most likely be very grateful for the money to spend on things like dorm room supplies.
If we are not inviting our entire family to the graduation ceremony, can we still invite them to the graduation party at our house that evening?
Yes. Since space is generally limited to only a few guests at the commencement, you can continue the celebration with the rest of the family at the graduation party you host in your child’s honor.
I just received a graduation invitation and a gift registry was included. Is it appropriate to set up a registry for the new graduate?
No. Although modern etiquette has been updated throughout the years, a gift registry should still be reserved for weddings and baby showers. The only exception is if it’s been set up for immediate family from out of town and there has been a specific request by family members to make it easier for them to order a gift online.
Are graduation announcements sent out after the ceremony has taken place?
Yes. To avoid confusion between an “invitation” and an “announcement,” send out the announcement after the graduation ceremony.
I am hosting a graduation party for my daughter and so far, we have 45 people coming. She suddenly tells me she is only staying for an hour because she wants to attend some of her other friends’ parties on the same night. Can the party go on without the guest of honor?
Yes. It can go on without the guest of honor in attendance but your daughter should plan to stay at her party for a reasonable length of time – at least an hour. Understandably, she doesn’t want to miss sharing the fun with her friends but the polite thing to do is stay at your own party long enough to greet each guest and make small talk with people she hasn’t seen in a while.
My son is graduating from college and his father (my ex-husband) and I are not on good terms. My son has asked me to include his dad on the guest list at the after party and I am concerned. It will make my relatives uncomfortable and I am the one paying for the party. Should I go with my son’s request at the expense of upsetting the rest of my family?
Yes. Co-parenting is often difficult and this situation is one of the hardest to navigate – similar to a wedding. Your first priority is your child and not adding stress or bad memories to one of their most important milestones. Extend the invitation, ask for cooperation from your family members and be as gracious as you can. You don’t have to entertain your ex-husband, simply be cordial and concentrate on your other guests. You are setting an example for your son on how to conduct himself under difficult circumstances.
Is it appropriate to ask for a gift receipt if a gift is not exactly what the new grad wanted? He could get something he really needs if he had the receipt.
No. It’s rude to ask for a gift receipt unless you plan to buy the same gift, different size (i.e. clothing that doesn’t fit). When asking for a gift receipt to buy something “he really needs,” you send the message that the gift was not appreciated.
Does my daughter have to send thank you notes to our close family members or just to friends who have sent gifts? It feels a bit formal to send a thank you note to her aunts who we see all the time.
Yes. This is a special occasion and your sisters made an effort to buy your daughter a gift fitting the occasion. Your daughter should write a thank you note acknowledging their effort and goodwill.
I received a laundry bag as a graduation gift and my name was misspelled. Should I say something to the gift giver in hopes they will fix the error. The shop may have made a mistake.
No. While the monogram shop may have been to blame for the error, it could have also most likely been the gift giver’s oversight. Either way, this is a scenario where it is best not to call out the blunder. Consider it a funny memory and let it go. Use the laundry bag anyways – it will still hold your dirty clothes on the way to the dorm laundry room. Send a thank you note and spell your name correctly – maybe they will pick up on it for next time.
For more of Diane’s graduation etiquette tips, watch Good Day Austin on Fox News 7.
You may also like Etiquette Tips for Celebrating Graduations. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on Huff Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Buy her new book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life.