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Operation Graduation

Prom. Senior week. Skip day. Graduation.

These are some of the many milestones that have been postponed or canceled for the senior class of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while most high school seniors seem to be taking things in stride (after all, kids are resilient) and they may be coping even better than some of their parents:), everyone agrees it’s important to celebrate this year’s graduates and give them the praise and congratulations that they deserve. What can you and your school do? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ideas, here. And, yes, they're no substitute for the real thing, but they're sure to make lasting memories for everyone.

Create a Boombox

This may be our favorite. Our friend Christina Geist quickly pivoted her Boombox business plan at the start of this pandemic and was able to rally her troops to create a revised product that fulfilled a need in these changing times. Christina's company has been helping people send virtual hugs for the past five years with their original Boombox product that allows you to invite anyone from anywhere in the world to "gather" by co-creating a collection of messages (and photos) for a loved one. These images and messages are turned into printed cards that are delivered to the recipient in a super-gorgeous lacquered keepsake box.

Her latest initiative -- Boombox Digital, takes this same idea and allows you to put together the same collection of memories and photos but now it can be delivered digitally. There are so many great ways to weave this unique idea into your graduation plans. You can create a 2020 graduating class time capsule for classes up to 350 people. Invite students and teachers to upload pictures and memories for one giant collection that the whole class will have access to. Think one jumbo virtual yearbook signing.

You can share with the entire class and also offer students the option to have the digital Boombox printed and delivered in the customized box with your school logo. So cool!

You can also create one for your own grad and ask your peeps to team up and create a box of personal photos and memories. Think of it as a socially distant graduation party. Reach out to family and friends and ask them to contribute.

Whatever you choose, it's super easy and it's a great way for families to honor their grad without the ceremony and the ability to gather.

Deck Your Doors

Celebrate by going all out on your front door. Use your teen’s high school colors or the colors for their new school. Pom-poms, uniform shirts, sweatshirts, signs and flags. Add a pic of your grad (if you think they won’t be mortified:).

Grad Wreath

Want to go a little more low key? Try this grad wreath. Super simple. Super special.

Sidewalk Talk... with Chalk

Encourage family and friends to stop by and “chalk bomb” your driveway by writing and drawing a thoughtful message or image for your grad in chalk on your driveway — all done while following socially distancing rules, of course. At the end, unveil the masterpiece to your grad.

Grad Card Your Yard

Skip the boring card and stake your yard. Shout out your grad with fun, giant personal signs that share your special event in your front yard. Look for local companies that create these personally for you, order one online or make one yourself -- don’t forget to add a sign saying “Honk — I just graduated.”

Wise Words

Round up words of wisdom from everyone you know and present them to your grad in a charming way. Think a giant mason jar with each message folded and placed inside. Or, a book with each message placed on a page. Every day your grad can open up one of these valuable pieces of advice.

Kick-ass Graduation Day Breakfast

Start the memorable day off with a giant smile. Deck out your kitchen table with balloons, streamers, graduation tassels and a bang-up breakfast buffet sure to please. Think donuts in your school’s colors. Bagels, fruit and maybe even a graduation cake. Pull out old projects and report cards and take a walk down Memory Lane.

Mock Graduation

OK. Not to make fun of graduation but… you can really have some fun with this. Dad as commencement speaker. Mom standing in for the principal. Your grad as Valedictorian. Siblings read off the class superlatives. Ironically, your grad wins every one! And, the best part, you don’t have to sit through another 200+ students getting their own diplomas. Maybe ask a favorite teacher to send a video message to play during the “ceremony.” Slideshow, anyone?

Video Tribute

Forget TikTok — round up family and friends and ask them to record a quick video sharing their congrats and well wishes to your grad. Loop them all together in iMovie and grab the popcorn and the crew and get ready to watch.

Most importantly, be positive. It’s ok to be sad but reassure our graduates that they have so much to look forward to and this is truly a bump in their road of life that they will most definitely learn from. For these seniors, life is just beginning. The best is yet to come.

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