Gifts for Grads

Oh what to get the graduating senior in high school this year? Especially when what they really want is certainty about the future (and maybe some cash). It seems like so many gifts could remind them of what’s likely not to be this strange Summer of 2020 – trips to Europe, first internships, bombastic parties.

While everyone’s primary concern is staying healthy – it’s hard not to sympathize with the seniors who are missing the rituals of their last year. Traditions like prom can seem so silly looking back, but they are still a big deal to mark growing up. I certainly remember the crushing disappointment when Billy Howe ditched me to go outside with his friends. But I will always cherish that powder blue dress. And I definitely remember how my friends and family sent me off to Marquette with so much love.

My co-owner Joanna’s daughter is a Junior at Virginia Tech and her son is graduating from T.C. Williams this month. I can’t imagine how they’re tackling all the questions about what’s next – I think having a rising second grader and kindergartener is stressful.

But Joanna is one of the best gift givers I’ve met. She’s curated some excellent options including modern acrylic picture frames, the diffuser to brighten up a stinky dorm room, or a USB-chargeable lamp in case the new apartment doesn’t have enough outlets.

Regardless, our #1 favorite gift is a simple – yet so useful – canvas travel bag. At $18, they’re a great extra something to wrap up a little cash for books or beer. And the quotes are just perfect, no matter how old you are.



  • The latest from Leah
Co-Owner | Boxwood
Over the past 15 years, I’ve covered the major branches of D.C. careers – political campaigns, Senate press office, advertising sales, and strategic communications. But after I had my two kids, I knew I wanted to do something that truly reflected my desire for creative, colorful design. Luckily, I stumbled into a shop on South Royal Street in early 2019 and met Joanna Szczerban. We opened Boxwood in April to offer Old Town a fresh take on home decor and gifts – and we haven’t looked back.

Boxwood was born out of the idea that our homes should be as vibrant and colorful as the people who live in them. So our decorative items and gifts bring a fresh, modern look to Old Town – everything from pillows and table linens to furniture painted with Annie Sloan® Chalk Paint®.

128 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Sunday & Monday: 12pm – 5pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday – Saturday: 10am – 7pm

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