Historically a housewarming party was just that, a way to warm a new house. Friends would bring the couple firewood for their home, thus, hopefully heating it through their first winter, and providing fuel for cooking. And from there it progressed into ways to wish the couple good luck with symbols like bottles of wines, salt mills, and the bluebird! But that was before we invented THE ULTIMATE BIG WEDDING with wedding showers and the additional wedding gift on the day. But, I’m happy to announce that with our current economy, the traditional Housewarming Party is making a come-back. See, everything has a silver lining!
Couples moving into their first home are once again calling on friends to help them set up their households. Especially those that couldn’t afford THE ULTIMATE BIG WEDDING. But it’s not just about the gifts; it’s a reason to celebrate! It’s the start of a new journey, and they want you at the Bon Voyage kickoff. What is a traditional Housewarming party gift? Well, let me tell you.
Ok. So I have to admit that I’m drawn to this tradition because the gift of the bluebird symbolizes happiness and luck. Which in my mind is classier than the Scottish tradition of giving a frog. So let’s assume that your hosts aren’t looking for a new frog collection and we’ll move on. So what do you take?
Well, it’s a 3 part gift. One for the party, one for luck and one for the home. And I have some suggestions.
One For The Party
You need to take food! A side dish, food basket, or a dessert. I can wrap this category up in one word…wine! Yes, I love a good bottle, but that’s not why I said it. Ok, it’s not the only reason. It’s a traditional host gift, but it also symbolizes the giver’s wishes of a good life, joy, prosperity, the fruitfulness of the union to the couple. And you can toast them with it! Or, you can always choose something like….
- Bread – so their house never knows hunger.
- Salt – so life always has flavor
- Sugar – so they still find sweetness
Bring a great artisan bread like this one from It’s Always Autumn, or from a local bakery near them. I like using food as symbols of good luck, but if you don’t, I have other suggestions.
One For Luck
There are lots of good luck symbols, but some of the favorites for a home are bluebirds, pineapples, coconuts, shamrocks, horseshoes and the number 7. Bringing a symbol of good luck just blesses the couple. It could be something as simple as a card, a pressed 4-leaf clover, a candle or combined with the gift for the home, (shown below).
For The Home
This gift depends on the couple. Today’s couples don’t usually come straight out of their parent’s homes and into their own. Most of them have the essentials, and if you’re lucky they were able to set up a registry to give you an idea of what they lack. But most department stores haven’t caught up to the Housewarming Party thing yet. Safe bets are usually; linens, a matching set of dishes, glassware, and couple neutral decor. You know something that won’t send one of them spastic like a Hello Miss Kitty throw blanket, so think neutral and solids. Throw rugs, front door mats, picture frames….. If you know the couple well, you’ve got it made!
I have to tell you; I’m a simple gal. In a sparkly ornate french country sort of way. I like to combine my gifts into something useful with decorative flair. And being on the lazy side, you’d probably end up with salted caramel monkey bread made in an ironstone casserole dish brought to you by your favorite Faded Bluebird.
I’m just sitting around waiting for an invitation!
Happy Gift Giving!