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Summer gift ideas for every occasion

At a loss for what to buy Dad, your kid's teacher or your newlywed cousin? Check out Real Simple magazine's gift guide.

Spring and summer are filled with occasions for gift giving. Father’s day, graduations, weddings and the end of school all offer the opportunity to find the perfect present. Real Simple magazine’s Elizabeth Mayhew was invited on “Today” to share her suggestions and ideas to help you express your good wishes.

Father’s day: Gifts for on-the-go and take-it-easy dads

Global tracking ID tag
The last thing he needs to worry about is whether his bag flew to the same city he did. To ensure it can be tracked wherever it lands, give Dad this durable tag, which uses global locating technology. (Tell him to resist the urge to surgically implant one in his 16-year-old daughter.)Victorinox, $15, Swiss Army Soho (212-965-5714)

Barbecue gearFor your grillmaster: Aliza Green’s meat guide, a silicone-bristle baster, and a college-insignia brand (in mirror image; attach to the grill and lay steak on it to brand).Field Guide to Meat, $15 ()
Sili Basting brush, $20 (
Fan brand grilling iron, $10 ( for store locations)

Weddings: Gifts for the affianced or newlywed

Address labels Let your favorite couple see their names together for the first time with these oversize self-sticking address labels. Choose from more than 60 designs, ranging from sweet renderings of farm animals to elegant fruit-tree branches. Each order contains 100.Felix Doolittle, $42 (

Monogrammed doormat Let the groom wipe the wedding cake off his shoes before he carries the bride over the threshold. This handsome 36-by-22-inch welcome mat is made from coconut bristles and can be monogrammed with up to eight letters.Lands' End, $49 (

Digital-photo albumGive the couple a more freewheeling take on their wedding than the one they'll get from the formal album. Compile a book of digital photos taken by you and other guests, who'll be happy to email you their best candids. 20-page album, $35 (

Graduations: Gifts that usher your favorite scholars into their new lives

12-Language Translator
Just the tool for the grad who'll be groping for phrases like "Which way to the Left Bank?" this summer or in class this fall. It translates more than 400,000 words, even ones that are typed in as they sound. There's also a world clock, a currency converter, and a phone book. Franklin Electronic Publishers, $40 (

Restaurant gift certificates
In college the most popular student is the one whose visiting parents take the roommates out to dinner. Help kick-start his social life (sans parents) with a gift certificate from He just goes to the Web site and types in the college’s ZIP code to find participating restaurants and special, $10 and up (

Thank you: Gifts for those who deserve appreciation

Personalized soaps
No matter the language you use, these adorable one-inch soap cubes, hand stamped with vintage-style letters, elegantly spell out thank you or any other message you like. (All 26 letters are available.) Soaps come in light blue, pale green and lilac.$3 each, $20 minimum (

Place mats To be filed under the heading “Why did it take them so long to come up with this idea?”: Kahala's plastic mats are trimmed in cotton, have slots for utensils and napkins, and roll up for transport from kitchen to patio or beach and back. An inspired thank-you for a beach-house visit.Tote Le Monde, $65 for six (

Real Simple offers beautiful, practical solutions to make life easier and better. For more summer gift ideas, check out Real Simple’s June issue, or visit