Girl 2.0 is having first world problems. Christmas is approaching, followed quickly by her 18th birthday and high school graduation. 90% of the people who might fete her with gifts are perfectly normal*, and will give her cash, gift cards, or a car**, but there are weirdos who think that $ or equivalent aren’t appropriate gifts.
Between us, we’ve covered Christmas only. Her dad is giving a new laptop. Grandparents are giving a set of luggage and a nice coat***. She has bed and bath linens for the dorm. Honestly, other than maybe a laundry basket and some detergent, I’m at a loss for other suggestions for people who prefer to give a boxed gift.
(She will be living in the dormitory at a large university in a major urban area. No car for the first year, but plenty of access to public transit, taxis, Uber, whatever. I’ll be 3 hours away, and I have a network of old friends nearby to run to the rescue if there’s an immediate emergency - I do the same for their kids here at Hometown University.)
Maybe a new phone from someone who wants to give a higher-end gift? Otherwise, I wish there were a tactful way to suggest cash or gift cards…
*Totally my side of the family. We might be a bunch of antisocial weirdos, but we’re pragmatic!
**My stepdad. Not that a 1990 Cadillac is practical, but no one is sneezing at a free car and a year of insurance!
*** Back in the day, I received a nice set of American Tourister luggage and a classic wool trench coat from grandmothers for graduation. Damned if I’m not still using both, 31 years later. But that’s only 2 ideas, and I only needed gift ideas for 2 grandmas and an uncle. Daughter needs about 3× as many suggestions.