It has been a time of transition for my extended family recently. One of the biggest transitions has been that both of my sisters have purchased new homes in the last month. I want to acknowledge this significant landmark in my sisters’ lives by sending them a housewarming gift that they will use and enjoy.
I spent quite a bit of time researching traditional housewarming gifts. I was inspired by the scene in the movie Its a Wonderful Life (1947) where Jimmy Stewart’s character, George Bailey, and his wife offer new homeowners gifts and kind wishes. They offer three gifts, each with the following wish:
“Bread: that this house may never know hunger, salt: that life may always have flavor, and wine: that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”-George Bailey, Its a Wonderful Life
Since we used to watch this movie every Christmas, I thought it might be fun to use it as inspiration for gifts for my sisters. Instead of gifting the items literally, I wanted to find some interesting and fun variations on the common gift items. After doing some research, I found that there are slightly different traditional housewarming gifts for different cultures, and I have included some of those below as well.
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#1: Bread- That this house may never know hunger
For this traditional item, you could certainly gift a loaf of artisan bread. Instead, I thought it might be nice to gift some gourmet crackers. One of my favorite specialty food makers is Stonewall Kitchen. They have a line of delicious foods including jams, mustard, sauces, and, of course, wonderful crackers. I love the simple white crackers to use for dips (they also come in gluten-free), but the roasted garlic are another favorite.
You might also consider gifting a pancake mix or bar snack mix for a less traditional gift.
#2: Salt- That life may always have flavor
This one is easy. There are so many specialty flavored or uniquely sourced salts available. The Spruce has several recommendations for their favorite salt brands which include The Spice Lab and SaltWorks. Amazon sells a Sea Salt Gourmet Sampler and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt from the Spice Lab. They also carry an Artisan Salt Sampler and Himalayan Pink Salt from SaltWorks.
A variation on this housewarming gift idea is to gift an epsom salts foot soak instead. Everyone knows that moving is exhausting. A nice foot soak can help soothe tired feet.
#3: Wine- That joy and prosperity may reign forever
It’s easy enough to pick up a bottle of wine at the grocery store, but that isn’t very creative. Although I don’t drink much, Brian and I will often pick up wines when we travel. Most of these bottles are either gifted or opened only when we have company. We do our best to support local wineries as well.
It is important to note that you can’t ship wine in every state. So, for my sister who lives out-of-town, sending wine isn’t an option anyways. Plus, not everyone drinks wine. Instead, something wine-flavored is a creative alternative. My favorite alternative gift is definitely wine-flavored gummy bears. In my opinion, the Rose all Day gummy bears from Sugarfina are the best. These can be pricey and they are often out of stock, so I found a few other options.
Jelly Belly makes champagne-flavored jelly beans. Project 7 makes both champagne-flavored gum and gummy bears. You could also choose a wine-flavored fruit spread or a wine-scented candle.
#4: Honey- May you may always enjoy the sweetness of life
Honey is great to have on-hand. You can use it in tea or on biscuits as well as in a number of recipes and for home remedies. One of the most popular honey brands is the Savannah Bee Company. We were able to sample their honeys on our recent visit to Savannah. Some of their post popular honeys include their tupelo honey and their acacia honey.
In addition to honey, the Savannah Bee Company also sells a range of beauty and lifestyle products. You might consider royal jelly body butter or the beeswax lip balm instead.
#5: Olive Oil- May you be blessed with health and well being
Olive oil is a great gift because it is used so much in cooking. Since I am certainly not an expert in olive oils, I have to rely on the advice of the experts. An article in New York Magazine lists the recommendations of chefs and food writers on the best olive oils. They include Monini Extra Virgin Olive Oil for everyday use and Agrumato Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil for finishing.
As with the other traditional gifts, there is no need to be so literal. Because olive oil has antioxidant and moisturizing effects, you might also consider an olive oil soap or an olive oil lotion.
There are many other traditional gifts you might consider. Many people like to gift houseplants. Rice, pineapples, and candles are also popular housewarming gifts. Gifts.com has a list of ten traditional housewarming gifts and even has printables that you can include with your gift.
Based on my ideas above, my mom, husband, and myself decided to see who could create the best housewarming gift in one day. Check out what we came up with!
What ideas do you have for housewarming gifts? What is the best housewarming gift you have received?
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