I’ve attended quite a few housewarming parties over the years, and not once have I ever NOT given a housewarming gift to the happy and excited hosts celebrating their purchase of a new house or condo, but also “house” warming parties for first-time apartment renters.
After having received an invitation to a housewarming party and gladly accepting the honor, one of the first things I do to help celebrate the brand new home purchase with the host(s), is to ask if they’ve made a list of things they need for their new place. I also ask if they’ve created a party registry or wishlist for their housewarming party, where attendees such as myself might choose something special to buy as a housewarming gift for them.
Housewarming Party Gift Registries or Wishlists – What’s the Big Deal?
Housewarming parties are not bridal showers or wedding showers, so it’s considered by some to be rather tacky to create a housewarming party registry. The so-called “etiquette experts” for housewarming parties say it’s perfectly fine to “register” for things you’re going to need for the new house, items that may be given as a housewarming gift or the home owner will purchase for themselves.
Personally, I think people are far too caught up in the word “registry” when it comes to whether or not new home owners should create a gift registry list of things they want or are going to need for their new house. Let’s just call it a housewarming party wishlist or new house essentials list, ok? A registry or wishlist is simply a list of items that the person or couple has selected as things they like, want and need for their new place, which can be checked off their list as time and budgeting allows.
If you’ve ever done an online search for “traditional housewarming party gift ideas” and seen the various gift ideas listed, it’s obvious to me why having a housewarming party registry or wishlist is a great, great idea. It makes a lot more sense to me to buy a housewarming gift from a store wishlist/registry and be 100% sure that the gift is wanted and/or needed, fits the person’s style, color, theme, etc, than to just guess and possibly get it very, very wrong. What typically happens to poorly thought out gifts, or gifts that were just plain awful? They’re forever hidden away in the garage or attic. ‘Nuf said, I hope.
When I think of giving someone a housewarming gift, the traditional housewarming gifts of things like a bluebird, bread, wine or salt just do not come to mind. Sure, the traditional and oh-too-common gifts have special meaning from the past. But, that’s the problem, they’re commonly (routinely) given as housewarming gifts. Ad nauseam.
Where is the originality? The uniqueness? The forethought and time spent looking for a great gift for a housewarming party? The fun of finding the perfect housewarming party gift for that particular person or couple? Something special, unique, uncommon, unusual etc. A unique and unusual housewarming gift that no other party attendee would ever come up with. Giving a bottle of wine as a housewarming party gift is, I’m sorry, worn out and lame.
Most of the so-called “perfect” housewarming gift ideas I’ve seen online should all be listed together as the Top 10 Worst Housewarming Gifts of All Time. Or, Buy This as a Housewarming Gift and Never Be Invited to a Party Ever Again.
It is true that gifts are not required for housewarming parties, per the “etiquette” rules, but housewarming gifts are commonly, “traditionally” given. If the housewarming party invitation specifically says No Gifts, then don’t bring a gift. Housewarming parties are family and friends coming together to celebrate and show off the new house with the new home owners, enjoy each others company, snacks and beverages, and hopefully lots of laughter.
I consider it an honor and privilege to bring a gift to a housewarming party. Gifts don’t have to be expensive of course, whatever “expensive” means to you and your budget. Which is just one of the many reasons why I love the idea of housewarming party wishlists or registries – I can choose a gift within my price range, but I can be 100% sure that the gift I’m giving will be a wanted and/or needed item for their new home.
If the party hosts have given me the store(s) location or website of their new house wishlist/registry, most of the time I buy a nice gift from their registry (not boring wine glasses), and I also search for a very unique and uncommon housewarming gift that is reasonably priced that the party hosts will absolutely love and fits them to a T.
There are so many great ideas of inexpensive gifts that can be given as a housewarming gift that are not lame and boring and worn out. I love the Takeout Menu Organizers, also known as Restaurant Menu Organizers – those are great! I also love the homemade gift ideas for do-it-yourselfers (aka crafty people) and how they make homemade gift baskets with a bunch of small kitchen essentials or bath products and candle assortments. Seeing the pictures of their homemade gifts displayed online, it’s quite obvious that they took plenty of time to really think about the person or couple they’re making the gift for and what their style and interests are.
If you’re invited to a housewarming party and you plan to attend and bring a housewarming gift, take your time to carefully consider the person or couple you’re buying a gift for. Don’t just buy a cheap bottle of wine or gift them with a container of salt because of some old-fashioned symbolic meaning it holds, or because that’s what is traditionally given as a housewarming gift. Don’t be a lame gift-giver. Be unique and unusual in your gift selections for the new home owner’s enjoyment.