Traditional Housewarming Gift Ideas

Giving housewarming gifts are a tradition in most cultures. While almost anything goes, many people like the thoughtfulness and meaningful traditional housewarming gifts. Here are six traditional housewarming gift ideas, along with their intended meanings, for the next time you want to welcome someone into a new home.

The giving of housewarming gifts began as the literal act of warming a new home. Back before central heating was a thing, neighbors and friends would bring gifts of wood and build fires in the new homes' fireplaces to warm the home and ward off evil spirits. This act of friendship continues to this day, although central heating makes warming a house unnecessary. Even so, housewarming parties are a commonplace when someone moves into a new house, and many people still enjoy giving gifts that hold special meanings for the new home's occupants. Below are six traditional gift ideas to consider the next time you're invited to a housewarming party.

A candle lit on the first night in a new home is believed to cast out darkness. It symbolically wishes the new occupants of the new home light through even the darkest of times. Candles come in so many shapes, sizes and scents, it's hard to name just one as the perfect housewarming gift. Try to choose something complimentary to any décor in a scent that isn't too overpowering.

A long-standing tradition, giving bread as a housewarming gift symbolically blesses the home with never knowing hunger. Many traditional housewarming gift givers like to give fresh-baked bread to the new homeowners, but another option would be to give a beautiful bread box as well.

Salt and herbs
Salt was once a valuable commodity, people used it as currency, so a gift of the seasoning symbolizes wealth as well as hospitality. A gift of other herbs delivers the same sentiment. A good gift idea for this category would be a set of silver salt and pepper shakers, or maybe a spice rack full of common flavorful spices. Be sure to attach a note card that says, “May there always be flavor and spice in your life.”

Wine as a housewarming gift has always been an icebreaker of sorts. A good bottle of wine paired with a lovely wine decanter makes a great gift that says, “May you always have joy and never go thirsty.”

Live houseplant
When you give someone a live houseplant, you are essentially blessing them with a home that's always full of life. People often correlate being able to care for a plant with an ability to care for one's family. Of course, no houseplant is complete without a stunning planter, so go big or go home with this one because gifting a houseplant also conveys a wish of good fortune.

Today, burden baskets placed at the front doors of many homes collect the worries and stresses of life from all who enter. Gift a new homeowner with a burden basket to be placed at the front door. This symbolic gift helps preserve the home's peace and harmony by encouraging anyone who visits to leave their troubles outside.

This sweet treat was once considered as precious as gold, and as a housewarming gift it represents the wish that your recipient “shall always enjoy the sweetness of life”.

Rice as a housewarming gift refers to fertility and you typically give this to a young couple. You are wishing: “May the love in your home multiply”.

A gift made of wood symbolizes this: “May your home have stability, harmony, and peace”. Great examples of gifts made of wood are wooden cutting boards, door signs or small decoration pieces.

By giving the gift of coins you are wishing the new home owner “luck and good fortune”.

Olive oil
Giving olive oil as a housewarming gift means: “May you be blessed with health and well-being”.

Pineapple, believe it or not, symbolizes hospitality and friendship. Some say that it’s the host that gives away pineapples to their guests to welcome them to their new house and to declare their friendship.

The concept of giving housewarming gifts has been around a long time. Many people like giving modern gifts designed around the latest technology, but for some people, a traditional housewarming gift means more than just “welcome to the neighborhood.” It conveys blessings and wishes for a good life and a happy home forever.