Traditional Gifts for a New Home – There is nothing more exciting than moving into a new home. Whether you are renting or owning the overall experience can be just as thrilling.
Naturally, friends and family will be keen to visit, but did you know there could be a meaning to the housewarming gifts they bring?
Women Talking investigates a selection of traditional gifts for new homes and what they may symbolise. The intention then (and now) was to congratulate the new homeowners and to fill their new home with good wishes, good health and prosperity.
Starting with foodie gifts, one would think that giving a food basket as a housewarming gift is a safe bet. Not only will your recipients be sure to appreciate a selection of kitchen goodies, but you also have the option of being as economical or as expensive as you like.
However, certain food items can also have a special meaning and intended blessing for the recipient.
The following traditional gifts stem from European cultural traditions, which have spread to many parts of the world.
Bread: “So that this house may never know hunger” …or…” So, your cupboards will always be full”
Rather than just turning up with just a fancy loaf, why not personalise this gift idea even further by wrapping it in a custom tea towel, tablecloth, or napkins or even a picnic basket with all three for a sense of variety.
Salt: Given with the message “That life may always have flavour”,can also represent added luxury or flavour to life.
Salt is an extremely traditional housewarming gift, and it’s useful in every household. You can also gift herbs and spices with this present idea.
Sugar: Means “So your life shall always have sweetness”
As an added treat, consider a sugar canister or alternatively, you can gift a sugar scrub.
Wine: Symbolises the hope “That joy and prosperity may reign forever” …or…” That your family will never be thirsty” …or…” So, you will always be of good cheer”
Wine remains one of the most classic housewarming traditions. Whether it’s their favourite label or simply something you think they’d like, they’re sure to appreciate this gift.
Honey: “So that you may always enjoy the sweetness of life”
Make your gift extra special by presenting the honey in a personalised jar or buy from a local honey maker.
Olive Oil: “May you be blessed with health and well-being” or “For a full lamp so that you may always have light in the home”
Olive oil blesses the new home and family. Olive oil tasting kits and balsamic vinegar make excellent additions to this housewarming gift.
Rice – “May the love in your home multiply.”
Rice is a home staple, making it an excellent housewarming gift. Present this gift in a beautiful jar for something the house owners are sure to love.
Pineapple – “May you enjoy good cheer, warmth, and celebration.”
Pineapple housewarming gifts originated in colonial times. Consider delivering this gift along with kitchen supplies or a nice basket.
Focusing on other household gift ideas, we have the following suggestions:
Broom: “So your home may always be clean” or “To help sweep away any evil and bad luck”
Moving away from the traditional house or garden broom, do a search for “straw whisk brushes” or “kitchen broom set” to find a bunch of gift-worthy options.
It’s also a great idea to gift coins with something practical for their homes, such as a custom keepsake box or quirky money box.
Candle: “So that this house will always have light” or “So you may dwell in light and happiness”
Any candle would be suitable, but what about something a little extra special? Maybe hand paint a lovely design on a pair of beeswax tapers.
Wood: “May your home have stability and peace”
Wood often makes for great decorative gift ideas, this can range from clocks to a wooden spoon, rolling pin or unique ornament.
Houseplant: “May your home always have life”
Houseplants are great housewarming gifts, as the new house owners probably won’t have had much time for additional landscaping. And don’t forget to personalise a special flowerpot to present your gift.
Knife – “May always be protected from intruders.”
Some cultures may see a lone knife as a bad sign, so you may want to consider adding a cutting board to the gift set.
You can give one or two from the list above or if you are feeling generous, fill a basket with all of them. Make each a little more special by wrapping in ribbon or raffia, cover jar lids with fabric or lace. Tuck in a handwritten note with the meaning of each item given.