Buying gifts for a first time home owner
If someone you know well has bought their first home, it’s traditional to offer them a housewarming present. It is considered to be similar to a wedding gift, but doesn’t have to be quite as expensive!
Housewarming gift traditions
Traditionally, friends and family brought firewood as a gift for a housewarming, literally to warm the house. They would go around and light a fire in each room to welcome the new owner into their home. This would be done within 10 days of moving in and would not only warm the property but also ward off evil spirits.
In other parts of the world, gifts for the new homeowner included pineapples, bread, salt and wine, candles, brooms and plants.
After Christopher Columbus found pineapples in Guadalupe, sailors would bring them home and leave them on the doorstep to signal their safe return. Bread, salt and wine is an ancient tradition that means “Bread – that this house may never know hunger. Salt – that life may always have flavour. Wine – that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”
Candles were a representation of the firewood tradition. They represent light and warmth and also ward off evil spirits. Brooms were given to sweep out bad luck in some parts of the world. They also have a very practical use. Finally, house plants are a useful housewarming gift as they not only represent life, fertility and prosperity but also look nice too!
Modern housewarming gifts
Traditional housewarming gifts aren’t suitable for everyone, so a modern selection of gifts might be more appropriate. But what do you buy?
Practical gifts might include a set of DIY tools, some kitchen utensils, good quality olive oil, cookbooks, a large plant or tree or something personal. There are now a huge range of personalised gifts that make perfect sense for a housewarming. They can include a personalised chopping board, fire extinguisher, art, kitchen knives and more.
If it’s a young person who have just bought their first home, they may not have some of life’s essentials. These would make ideal housewarming presents. We couldn’t live without a good set of kitchen knives, a bottle opener or a decent set of saucepans could we?
If it’s a more established couple who have just moved house, they may have all the practical things so you would need to use more imagination. Either that or elect to go for something arty or less useful but a bit more fun.
Like with any gift, much depends on the recipient. If you’re in a position of needing to buy a housewarming present, you must know the homebuyer well. Therefore you can use your judgement to decide which kind of gift would be most appropriate and best received!