Birthday gift for 17-yr-old sister


Hi All,

My sister is turning 17 in early August, and but I am having trouble thinking of a gift for her. I would want to give her something Faith-based, but she is not Catholic, nor does she attend a church or really believe in God (prayers for her are appreciated! Her name is Sam). She probably wants clothes or makeup, but has enough of those to sink a ship, but I would hesitate to give her anything directly Christian because she would reject this as me being pushy. I really don’t want that to happen. Does anybody have any ideas of creative, fun, wholesome gifts that a 17 year old girl would like? She’s going to be a senior in high school this year, if that helps.




What about a good book or a gift card to a book store?


How much do you want to spend? You can usually find nice necklaces reasonably priced and those usually go over well (especially diamond necklaces, which can be found in the $100-$200 range, but sterling silver can be found in the $20-$50 range). It’s actually pretty easy to find religious themed jewelry that doesn’t appear to be religious themed.


A nice journal, a good pen.

Is she sporty or artsy? If she is sporty, a cool water bottle (teens drink water like it is - water).

Artsy? Go to a artsy part of town and find some kind of neat o thing.

Food is always good. When my son was that age, he LOVED a gift of a tea chest full of different teas and an electric kettle.


I would get her a AAA motor club card. It could come in handy if she is driving, and she can get free maps and stuff too.


Thanks for the advice!

I don’t want to spend too much, and while I think the necklace is a great idea (thanks!), she already has a lot of jewelry to go along with the clothes.

I like the idea of getting her a book. Does anybody know any good books that have a good message but that a 17 year old girl would like? She’s into pop culture and all those things and not willing to read anything even resembling a classic, so I would have to get one that’s modern, but I don’t want anything with a bad message. She gets enough of that “stuff” watching shows like The Hills :frowning: She’s already read all of the Twilight books and loved those, but I’d prefer to stay away from vampires :slight_smile:

The water bottle is a great idea, but I gave her one with singing lessons for Christmas! :slight_smile:
She’s not sporty, but is sort of artsy: she’s into fashion design (but the trendy sort).

I like the AAA membership, but she hasn’t gotten her driver’s permit yet. I think she’s a little intimidated by driving right now.


The book “The Thrill of the Chaste”


She likes fashion/art? Is she interested in becoming a fashion designer?
If so why not buy her a DIY Fashion book? I just got an awesome book with a title something along the lines of ‘Why Yes, I Made It Myself!’ which gives me loads of basic patterns for dresses/bags/skirts (and most of the things it gives designs for are rather modest and very flattering!)

(found it on Amazon…)

Yeah, I Made it Myself!

or possibly something like Sewing for Dummies, it’ll give her the chance to explore things that she is interested in, whilst encouraging her to engage in a wholesome activity! You could even include some sewing equipment if you were feeling daring. :thumbsup:


Would a book like Real Love by Mary Beth Bonacci seem too overtly Christian? It’s easy to read and is set up in a Q&A format (which makes it rather addictive to read IMO). And, of course, it’s a topic that is of great interest to most kids in their late teens.

EDIT: Whatever you do, if you go the book route, I would recommend that you read the book before you give it to her. First, it helps you decide if the book is appropriate for your sister. Second, it adds to your credibility if you give her a book you liked so much you just had to share it rather than simply passing something on because you though she “needed” it. Third, it allows you two to connect over the book and engage in some good discussions.


Another book that might be worth checking out is A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit. I believe Shalit is Jewish, not Christian, but it’s a great book on the subject which makes a very compelling case for modesty. Perhaps it would be interesting to your sister if she’s into fashion design. :shrug:


Relevant is a good christian magazine that isn’t catholic but isn’t anti-catholic either. It has fun band reviews and pretty good articles.

Scott Westerfield has an excellent set of series…“the midnighters” and “The Uglies” but they may be a bit too young. You can always try something by Frank Peretti or Ted Deckker not Catholic but excellent Christian artists in their fiction.

OOOO and “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz…very intreguing, great series and DEFINATLY very Catholic friendly.


LOVE the Odd Thomas books :thumbsup:


I justed turned eighteen, and I know one of my favorite series is The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. While the series does contain some minor swearing, it does have an overall good message about life and death. In addition to that, the protagonist, “Suze”, has a student/mentor relationship with a mild mannered Catholic priest who is also a mediator. I think it would make a great birthday gift! Especially if your sister likes “fantasy” novels. There are six books in the series, each of which cost $8 for paperbacks. You can read an excerpt out of all of the books and more in depth about the series on amazon. Here is a link for the first book:

Good luck finding your sister a present!:slight_smile:


Thanks everybody for the advice!

I really liked the look of a lot of those books, and would like to read them all myself :slight_smile:

I decided to go with the “Return To Modesty” one because I feel like it has the greatest chance of getting read by her (if I beg). I’m also going to get or make her something else, so I appreciate all of the comments.

Have a great day everybody,



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