It is always nice to congratulate a friend, colleague or loved one on a new home by sending them a housewarming gift. But what should you send? Go beyond an impersonal gift card--a recurring housewarming gift flower subscription is a gift they'll love. Receiving fresh flowers every single week or month on the regular is such a lovely way to beautify a home.
Flowers are not the only way to celebrate a new home with your loved ones. In the rest of this article, you will find the top ten housewarming gifts. Some are better given in person—when housewarming parties can resume—but many work great sent through the mail. With so many options to choose from, you are assured of finding a housewarming gift that works for you.
The History of Housewarming Gift-giving
Before we get to the top ten housewarming gifts, let’s take a look at some history. Housewarming gifts have a long history.
In fact, the practice and term go back to the middle ages. Some claim that the tradition began in Russia, while others point to medieval France. The name housewarming comes from a time before our homes had central heating. When a home relied on fireplaces to warm it, firewood was essential. Every time someone moved into a new home, they would throw a party. As gifts, the guests would bring firewood and use it to light all of the fireplaces in the home. They were literally giving the gift of warming the house.
Since the middle ages, certain regions developed their own housewarming traditions. Instead of firewood, guests may gift food (the southern US), participate in religious rituals (India and Thailand), or participate in a “thank you” meal (France).
In addition to the traditional gift of firewood, guests of a housewarming could choose to give other traditional gifts as well. Each gift had a specific message attached that the giver wished to tell the homeowner. These traditional gifts and their meanings include
- Broom: Do away with evil spirits.
- Coins: Good fortune.
- Candles: Joy.
- Salt: Good luck.
- Honey: A life full of sweetness.
- Bread: Wishing that there will always be enough to eat.
- Wine: Wishing that there would always be enough to drink.
- Plants (including flowers): Prosperity.
Obviously, today we don’t need to have housewarming parties in the traditional sense. Most homes in the United States have central heating. To warm, or cool, a new house, you just have to turn on the furnace. Many of the traditional housewarming gifts have also gone by the wayside. However, you may recognize a few of them from the housewarming scene in It’s a Wonderful Life!
Today’s housewarming traditions still revolve around celebration, food, and gift-giving. There are many more gifts that a person can choose to give, however. You can, of course, stick with the traditional gifts from the list above. Although, unless the homeowner is a salt fanatic, they may not love you giving them salt as a housewarming gift. No matter what you give, make sure it is something the person would like and need.
Often those throwing housewarming parties register for gifts. This gives you an idea of what they need most. A registry makes your job much easier. So, we always recommend giving a gift off of the registry if there is one.
Top Housewarming Gifts
A housewarming gift does not have to be ridiculously unique to be appreciated. Some of the best gifts are classics and are good to give especially without a registry list. As long as your gift is thoughtful and personal, it will be appreciated. For inspiration about your next housewarming gift, here are ten gifts that have stood the test of time.
Giving plants as a housewarming gift goes all the way back to the beginnings of the tradition. Originally, a gift of a plant meant hope for the prosperity of the homeowner. Today, that meaning lives on in the form of the money tree. These trees are often given as housewarming gifts because of their association with prosperity. Plus, they just look cool.
No, giving flowers is not a cop-out. In fact, flowers are unique in that they can be completely tailored to the recipient. Give flowers that the homeowner loves. Or, you can tailor a specific message in your arrangement. Each flower and color has its own meaning, which can be used to make a bouquet that speaks directly to the recipient.
2) Gift baskets
Another very common housewarming gift is the gift basket. Like flowers, these can be given on any occasion and to any person. They are a great way to give a lot of small gifts, which are usually centered on a theme. For example, there are chocolate gift baskets, cocktail gift baskets, game gift baskets and so much more.
It is very easy to find pre-made gift baskets. These come in every conceivable theme, so your job is fairly easy. You just need to pick one that the homeowner will like. You can also choose to make your own. Homemade gift baskets are ideal for a personalized gift. All you need are a few small gifts, flowers, ribbon, and a nice basket, and you will have a great gift basket gift.
No, we’re not talking about big appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and the like. You can definitely give these as housewarming gifts. But unless you are very close to the person and know they need that specific appliance, then you may not want to go that big.
The appliances we mean are small things that the homeowner may be lacking. Blenders, food processors, a toaster oven. These all make great housewarming gifts. This is especially true if the homeowner is young and/or unestablished and needs a lot of cooking essentials.
Any type of small appliance would likely be appreciated, but kitchen appliances are most often given. This is probably because housewarming parties still revolve around food. Most people also love a nice new kitchen appliance.
Good towels are a lot more expensive than you might expect. A person could spend a fortune on nice bath towels, hand towels, dish towels, etc. When someone has just spent a lot of money purchasing or renovating a house, they likely do not want to spend even more money on new towels.
This is where the housewarming party comes in. Towels are a great gift for a housewarming. Everyone needs them, and most people will appreciate not have to buy them. You also do not need to buy all the towels for the home. A few good bath towels or kitchen towels will work perfectly.
If there is a color theme for the home, try to match it with the towels. White and beige are also classic colors that will work if you are unsure what color the homeowner prefers. If you purchase towels with a design on them, make sure it is something the recipient enjoys.
No one can ever go wrong giving food as a housewarming gift. Bread is the most traditional housewarming gift. It was given as a wish for there to never be hunger in the home. Even without that message, bread is still a great housewarming gift. Who doesn’t like bread!
In addition to bread, there are a lot of food gifts that will work for a housewarming. You can choose foods that are special or that the homeowner enjoys. For example, if you are famous for your chocolate chip cookies, a batch of those would be much enjoyed. You could also include your recipe if you are comfortable sharing it. Any other homemade food would work as a great housewarming gift. James, preserves, pickles, casseroles, if you make it, the homeowner is likely to appreciate it.
6) Wine, beer, and spirits
If you don’t want to give food but do want to stay with edibles for your housewarming gift, there is always wine, beer, or spirits. The insane number of alcoholic beverage options means that you can find something for everyone.
If the homeowner does not drink, then this is not the gift for them. Otherwise, you should give whatever drink the homeowner loves best. Or give them a new assortment of items to try. You can give just the alcohol to try, or maybe include it with a nice drink gift set. There are a lot of ways to take the gift to personalize it to your friend or loved one.
Moving is a stressful time. Beer, wine, and cocktails can help take the edge off and are sure to be appreciated. Try one of them as your next housewarming gift.
Candles are another modern housewarming gift that appears on the traditional gift list. Originally candles symbolized light and joy in the home. A housewarming gift of a candle can continue to mean that, although you will likely have to explain the meaning to the recipient.
Many people also give candles because they smell nice. They can help air out that stall home smell of a newly bought house. If the housewarming party is for renovations, then a candle is a great way to remove the smell of the construction.
As with many of the gifts on this list, there are a lot of candles to choose from. Yankee candles are the most famous. But, smelly candles can be found anywhere and for seemingly any size. We highly recommend the candles that smell like flowers. Roses, jasmine, and lavender are classic scents. The smell of flowers can reduce stress, and, let’s face it, there is nothing that smells as good.
New homes typically have bare walls. Giving the gift of a photo or photo collage is a great way to bring life to a home. Even if your friend or loved one has a lot of photos to hang, they will likely love the gift of a nice photo.
Photo gifts that include a picture of you and the homeowner are the most common. You may also have a photo of the family or a loved one that you would like to share. Even landscape photos are nice, especially if they hold a specific sentiment for the homeowner.
A nice frame is another essential for your photo. It does not have to be fancy. Choose a frame that represents and compliments the picture. It should also match the style of the home.
9) Kitchen tools
We covered kitchen appliances above, but kitchen tool gifts deserve their own category. There is a large range of kitchen tools to choose from. You could go for serving spoons, cooking utensils, peelers, or more modern, fancy gadgets. If you have a cook in your life, you should take a look at this list of the best kitchen gadgets.
Housewarming parties involve a lot of food. The gift of kitchen tools is a great way to compensate your friend or loved one for the effort they put into the party. Why not give them a gift that will make dinner party prep much easier next time? Kitchen tools also lend themselves very well to gift baskets because of their relatively small size and cost.
10) A Flower Subscription from BloomsyBox
Flowers make a great gift. A flower subscription from BloomsyBox makes an even better housewarming gift. Our subscription boxes come with weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and seasonal plans. Each arrangement will be specially curated by our professionals. The blooms will be extremely fresh and long-lasting. This means that your housewarming gift will extend long past the party.
Flower subscription boxes are a great gift because they provide regular deliveries of flowers. They are also different each time, and a mystery before the recipient opens them. Thus, there will be an excitement every time the homeowner opens their flowers.
Each delivery arrives in a special and beautiful box. The blooms will be intact, unique, and healthy. The box will also have care instructions and plant food for your blooms. You or the flower subscription recipient will receive all the information they need to keep the blooms looking amazing until their next delivery. If you are attending the