Graduation Gift and Party Ideas

Refresh Gift Shop is ready to help you celebrate your graduate this year!

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WAXHAW, NC – With spring in the air and summer around the corner, it might be easy to skip right over graduation season!  But we here at the Tri-W are going to make sure you stop to smell the diplomas!  Take a look below for some amazing ideas for graduation gifts and parties.

Refresh Gift Shop – 318 E. South Main Street, Waxhaw or

Refresh Gift Shop has great bags for all the travels in your future!
Refresh Gift Shop has great bags for all the travels in your future!

Owners Shannon Habenicht and Peggy Weisenberger are here to help you every step of the way.  You can shop in-store and online, and Refresh can also ship gifts too!  “We have cute tie-dye baseball hats – great for the summer or when you are running late to class next year!” Habenicht says. “Our summer beach wraps can be used this summer and then take them to school with you next year for those outside study sessions! If your grad has a sweet tooth, we carry Candy Club and Scamp’s Toffee – perfectly sized to sneak into a gift bag or care package! Our Natural Life Boho Bands, Bandeaus, and scrunchies are a must-have for grads. Natural Life also has phone pockets, so your grad will always have their necessary IDs on them, along with cute pouches and dishes for keeping track of things. Their toothbrush covers are perfect for traveling to and from home, school, and work if they move out of town.”

Habenicht continues, “Our jewelry lines, including Scout Curated Wears, Canvas, Sosi Designs, Twine and Twig, and Kinsley Armelle, provide a great piece of jewelry that your grad will cherish for years. The pieces are distinctive and will always be a reminder of how much they accomplished in high school as they head out on their own.  Got a coffee or tea drinker? Congratulate them with a handcrafted Waxhaw, NC, mug that they can take with them to remind them of home! Dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe, so a great grad gift!  We also have Alltul multitool key chains that come in handy in a pinch.”

Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John’s Place– 2945 Matthews Weddington Road, Matthews, or (704) 847-4884

The banquet rooms at Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John's Place are ready to host your graduation parties!
The banquet rooms at Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John’s Place are ready to host your graduation parties!

Barry Steiger,  Relationship Development/Marketing Manager for Mario’s Italian Restaurant/John’s Place, is very excited to help you host and cater your graduate’s party.  Offering three different party rooms and two patios, the rooms can hold a small party of 30 or a large group of up to 100.  Guests can decorate the rooms for any occasion, and with their scratch kitchen, they can make your favorites.  “We offer delivery and can cater to any size group,” says Steiger.  “We catered the Union County Gala a couple of times and catered to over 600 people. We can provide an entire set up if required (plates, silverware, etc.).”

The patios at Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John's Place are ready to host your graduation parties!
The patios at Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John’s Place are ready to host your graduation parties!

“Our pricing will vary on catering based on size, quantity,  delivery, etc,” continues Steiger.  “We have a catering menu on our website, but we are a scratch kitchen, so we can prepare any cuisine or meal. We do delivery on a daily basis, and we have a call ahead drive-up window for our customers’ convenience.  The best thing would be to call (704) 847-4884 and speak to the catering staff.”  Mario’s and John’s are ready to help you throw the most memorable graduation party of 2021!

Micheal Neddo – Matthews, NC, (704) 545-3553 or

You’ll surely recognize Michael Neddo’s name from Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home, but what you may not know is that the Neddo family offers other services that help commemorate all the special events in your life.  Popular this time of year are memory blankets.  These loom-woven 4×6 blankets feature a reproduction of a photo, are fully customizable, and can even include licensed images and logos from several colleges.

“It’s a great gift for a graduate because it’s personal,” says Neddo.  “You can lay it on a bed, hang it on a wall, or throw it on a chair.  But I think the biggest thing is that it’s the best way to send you with somebody.  We’re not talking about a picture on a phone but something tangible you can hold.”

Also popular for graduates are Lowe-Neddo’s video compilations, which they craft from photos and videos from throughout a graduate’s life or high school career.  “At Lowe-Neddo, we’re all about helping people celebrate all of life’s events.  Memory blankets and videos are two ways we can honor our graduates!”

Other Local Favorites 

Are you looking for a fun, socially-distanced dessert?  Cupcakes are your answer, and the Cupcake Queen is a local favorite delivering fresh and scratch-made cupcakes, cake pops, and custom cakes.  They will work with large and small custom orders and have a very wide variety of flavors, colors, and decorations.  Call (704​​​​​​​) 256-1292, visit them at 201 W. South Main St. Suite A, Waxhaw, NC, or order online at

What about an outdoor party location?  Dogwood Park in Weddington, NC, can solve that for you.  This 22.5-acre park is handicap accessible, has picnic and grill areas, and is open from dawn to dusk.  You can find information about the park, including reservation instructions, online at

Don’t forget about banners for your graduate!  Elite Design & Print offers large format printing and can even help you design the perfect banner or poster as well as invitations or personalized thank you cards for your grad.  They can also assist with printing on mugs, pens, keychains, and much more.  Visit Elite Print & Design at 3901-C S Providence Rd, Waxhaw, NC or online at

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