My little sister's growing up :'(
November 7, 2009 5:13 AM   Subscribe

My younger sister is moving in with her future-fiancé. How to mark this passage, and what house-warming gift to buy them?

My wonderful sister (early 20s) is about to move in with her boyfriend (who will very likely become my brother-in-law within 18 months). They're moving into his new house (not renting), and they're seriously planning their futures together. This is the big one, and I'm so happy for both of them. They're a great match and they're very together, level-headed people. I'm very hopeful for them.

She's moving out of my mum's house and it feels like this move closes a door on a part of our sibling relationship. My sister and I are very very close, and her moving out of mum's house likely means that we'll probably never live under the same roof again. We'll stay close, but this feels like a significant passage from one chapter to the next. In some ways, it marks the end of our shared extended-childhood. We've been through movings in and out and back and forth and together and apart before, but never with this air of finality.

So I have one pragmatic question and one fuzzy one.

1) Do you have any suggestions for a housewarming gift for them? (I've read previous Asks on this topic but couldn't find one with this sort of background.) I'm struggling.

2) If you've been through anything like this, how did you mark the occasion? How did you handle it? Have you any advice?

posted by SebastianKnight to Human Relations (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm stealing both of these housewarming ideas from a friend of mine, and think they're both great for someone's very first home:
1) A tree to plant outside. My friend gave me a lovely little Japanese maple, and it's so nice to have something that grows with us and sort of marks our time in this home.
2) A basket of decorations for various holidays. Decorating for holidays can help a house feel like home, and holiday decorations can (sometimes) be less taste-specific than if you were to try to give year-round decor. Same friend, for her sisters' first homes, did a basket containing small decorations for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
posted by dayintoday at 7:02 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

A nice comforter for the winter, nice sheets, pillows. Or kitchen stuff. When people have given me and my BF this stuff for our home, I LOVE It.
posted by Rocket26 at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2009

This sounds like good occasion for wine, champagne even. Hopefully she will invite you over for your first meal in her new home and you can bring several bottles of the best. Then make a formal toast at some point in the evening. It will be somewhat of a prelude to the wedding toast: "I'm so glad you have made me feel welcome in your new home. I will miss my sister dreadfully, but I know that you make her very happy. To a lifetime of joy!"

If you wish to toast them with a non-alcoholic beverage or you know they don't like wine, your gift could be anything really that they need for their home to make it more cozy. Firewood, afghan, silk pillow, fine linens, silver candlesticks; it just depends on your budget and how close your taste in home furnishings matches theirs. I wouldn't buy them any artwork, for example, unless you are positive you know what they like.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:15 AM on November 7, 2009

If you have the budget, get 'em a Roomba. It's super practical and a good robot friend.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:44 AM on November 7, 2009

The most important things are the fact that it's coming from you, and the spirit in which you give it. During a transition in my life, someone gave me a little candle holder hangy thing. Like, if I had a hook, I could hang this thing on it, and put a little candle in it. I have never used it once.

But it still has a prominent place in my room because it came from her, and because of what she said about why she was giving it to me (blah blah independence new beginning blah blah). Sure enough, this shiny glass thing, to me, is all about having "a beautiful new life supported by love from friends." So, think about what you want it to mean, and then pick a gift from there.
posted by salvia at 10:23 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

what you choose to get for your sister sort of depends on her budget. if she's gonna be on somewhat financially shaky ground for awhile, you'd best be off getting her a practical gift like cookware or something.

otherwise, sentimentality is the way to go. personally, the gift i appreciated the most was a framed family portrait. if you have a pic of you and your sis you could frame it perhaps alongside a letter addressed to her. but that all depends on if she's a picture person or not.
posted by tastycracker at 11:53 AM on November 7, 2009

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