18 answers

What to Get My Daughter for Her 21St Birthday?

My daughter turns 21 later this year and I would like to get her something memorable. She will be away at college at the time. I asked her and she said all she wanted was money, ok I understand, she has worked every summer for years. On her 18th, I gave her the necklace that was given to me on her birth; now what?

What can I do next?

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On my 21st birthday, my parents wrote me a letter explaining the events that took place the day I was born, the feelings they had that day, how proud they were of the woman I'd become, etc. They got me something else but I can't recall what it was. The letter meant so much to me. I still have it to this day and will never forget it.

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My mom gave me 20 small gifts (one each day leading up to my 21st) then a nice necklace & 21 $5 bills on my 21st. Each gift was different. I got a children's book (The Kissing Hand) that my mom wrote in, a cool clutch, fun ring (cheap, not expensive), photo album, cool shirt, couple of gift cards, etc. She wrote small sweet notes with each. I was off at college but she gave the gifts to my roommate and I got one each day.

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On my 21st birthday, my parents wrote me a letter explaining the events that took place the day I was born, the feelings they had that day, how proud they were of the woman I'd become, etc. They got me something else but I can't recall what it was. The letter meant so much to me. I still have it to this day and will never forget it.

3 moms found this helpful

How about your time? I was stumped on a gift for my 21-year-old too. And then I came up with the idea of spending a weekend with her in NYC. It was THE BEST thing! We had an amazing time and it was just the two of us and we made so many lasting memories. I also made a photobook for her of our time there, for something to keep and remember by. And you don't have to do it ON her birthday if she's in school. I took my daughter a month after her birthday because that's just when it worked out.

2 moms found this helpful

My mom gave me 20 small gifts (one each day leading up to my 21st) then a nice necklace & 21 $5 bills on my 21st. Each gift was different. I got a children's book (The Kissing Hand) that my mom wrote in, a cool clutch, fun ring (cheap, not expensive), photo album, cool shirt, couple of gift cards, etc. She wrote small sweet notes with each. I was off at college but she gave the gifts to my roommate and I got one each day.

1 mom found this helpful

I asked my 18 yr old - she said $ and I'll be dammed! I wanted it to be something memorable too. I ended up buying her first piece of nice framed art. I bought a beautiful black and white flower painted on canvas. i figured it could go in all sorts of differant decors as her tastes change over time. She loved it. I know it'll go from her room to her 1st apartment, to her new home beautifully. But a week after her birthday she told me she needed her passport and didn't have the $100! I was so aggravated with! What better gift for an adventerous young lady than her passport! I could've gotten her a cute little carry on and make up travel case to go with it! what a brat.

1 mom found this helpful

If you have enough time, I think a photobook is a really memorable gift. The ones you order online and they print the picture directly on page, then you can add captions describing each picture. You could make a really thorough one starting with birth all the way thru to her 21st birthday. I would include pictures from every phase of her life from family functions to activities to all her school friends. I think they are better than just a normal photo album where the pictures end up falling out or the corners get bent. I also agree that a trip together would be awesome to if its in your budget!!

1 mom found this helpful

my mom gives a trip to her grandchildren for milestone birthdays & events. They get a trip at 13, at H.S. graduation, & for 21 &/or college graduation.

They all have wonderful memories of these trips.....so that's where my vote goes! & as a heads-up, my older son & eldest niece BOTH really enjoyed Las Vegas when they were 21. You can find great discounted rates/deals online. .....& they went together to New Orleans with my Mom when they graduated from H.S. !

If travel is out, then what about a trip to the casino & a girl's night out? Is there anything like that in your area? Oh, & I'm making these activity recommendations based on the fact that you've already given her jewelry!

1 mom found this helpful

I got a pair of crystal champaigne flutes for my 21st and loved it. It was the first 'grown up' thing I owned.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a minimalist and I actually dislike getting presents. I love the thought, but most of the things I receive, I don't like and have no use for. Money, for me, is the most sensible thing.

I went to Vegas for my 21st birthday, but we live 4 hours from there. When I was away at grad school, my parents sent me a check for $100 for my first birthday there. I went to WalMart and spent $78 of it on a fountain that I put in my living room, where there was always the relaxing sound of running water. You know what's funny? That is about the only birthday gift I can remember that my parents have given me - even though they would die, if they knew that.

Stick to the money....give her what she wants, otherwise, it will feel like you aren't listening to her. It's no fun receiving something they other person wants you to have, rather than what you want, even if it makes no sense to the giver. My parents wrote in the memo portion of the check: "Not for paying bills - only for something fun."

1 mom found this helpful

Ha, Our daughter will be 21 next year and we have threatened to take her to Vegas with us.. She is such a grandma, she was horrified..

This year for her Bday, we paid for her to go to San Fransisco to meet up with some college friends. She had a blast. Her friends even thanked us for sending her. She stayed with one friend another friend had a car and drove them around and they just acted like a tourist.. The photos ore beautiful..

We are thinking about doing something similar for her next year.

1 mom found this helpful

21 is a memorable birthday! What about getting her gift cards for $21 at some of her favorite places and making them into a colorful bouquet? If your budget permits (21 cards x $21) or just get some as your budget permits and have other dried flowers or decorations in the bouquet. Get someone to take a picture of her with the bouquet ! If you have the ability, take it yourself and share the day with her!

Go to Dixies in Arlington by the parks mall and make her a charm bracelet. Put stuff that is memorable like a diploma forher graduation and the school letters of the college she is at. I am starting ones for my daughters (3 and 19mo) to give them at graduation.

Does she have a Pandora or Chamilla (charm) bracelet that can be added to through the years?

I got my daughter a very nice cell phone. She wanted one, and it served the dual benefit of making sure she can call me whenever she wants! Congratulations on raising your daughter for 21 years, Mom!

How about a "spa day" . . . or even better, a mother/daughter spa day the next time you visit her at college. I really like the idea of at least part of the gift being time spent with her!

My response is very on par with the others suggesting special time for you and your daughter, or even both parents with her. At the age of 21, she is probably moving every 6 months and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with valuables and keepsakes. Should a trip be out of the question, definitely send her the $$ with a special note, the easier to pack away the more likely she'll keep up with it during these transient years...haha!

I have no idea what to get a girl for her 21st birthday (other than a date with Zac Efron), but I wanted to say that birthdays shouldn't have to one-up each other every time. The only thing special about a person's 21st birthday is the legal ability to consume alchol. 21 should be no different than 20 or 22 or 25. The day itself should be special enough, and when an opportunity presents itself to be memorable, I think a parent shouldn't wait for so-called milestones.

There is a book out called Why a daughter needs a mom...its kind of a sentimental sayings book that is written for the grown up daughter...

For my daughter's graduation, she's getting that and also a scrap book of all her awards, pictures, etc in it...I've been working on it for a while now...

For my son's 21st, I took him, his gf and 2 of their friends (even tho about 20 showed up) to see a movie (Avatar) and then we went (about 12 of us) out to eat and I bought him a drink...lol The significance of that is...he doesn't drink (by his choice) but you can't have a 21st without something to celebrate with... :)

My daughter's 21st...now that's a different story...for that day...me and her are going somewhere...just us...to walk and talk and shop and lie around...and just be. That's my plan anyway.

I LOVE LOVE the idea that some of the mom's have of giving them their first "adult" gift...coffee table book of art, art for the walls, set of glasses, etc. And the one that suggested the gift cards...EXCELLENT! You can start now and get one a week til her bday and organize accordingly.

For my son's graduation, I gave him 18 $20's, individually wrapped in boxes, inside a box that was inside a box that was filled with confetti. Vacuuming was fun. Watching him open 18 boxes was even better...lol

Sending good thoughts your way...

I like the response about the champagne glasses to make you feel grown up that was nice. I'm 26 and my mom hasn't given me a gift none the leads a card since I turned 16. Stinks but it is what it is...

I won't pass on the charm bracelet. To be honest I would smile say I liked it and then hide it. Too kidish. She is growing up. How about earrings to go with the necklace you got her at 18?

$$$, gift cards and spa treatments will be best. Plus it will make her happy

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