"The house shelters day-dreams, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace." -- Gaston Bachelard
My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a bit when I was growing up, so we had many a new home. To force her to unpack the boxes and get settled as quickly as she could, my mom would always plan a party about a month after we arrived. Nothing gets you to hang those pictures and put stuff into those closets faster than knowing you will have guests to entertain and cook for in just a few weeks.
Though Mom never thought of it when she planned these events, folks would arrive bearing some sort of gift. Bottles of wine, food, and plants were all at the top of the "housewarming items most given" list. And then there were a few traditional tokens that mean something, I remember seeing a pot of honey, with a tag that read: "Always enjoy the sweetness of life!" and a cute container of salt, with a card attached saying, "So life may always have flavor!".
I love giving gifts, searching for something the recipient will really use. What tops my "housewarming items most given" list? Here are a few of my favorites!
-- A personalized cutting board. One of the most used tools in the kitchen, a cutting board never goes out of style. So many are out these days -- you can even personalize them with a date or monogram!
-- Fire extinguisher. Right, not the most elegant gift, but think about it. It could be the most practical, yet important item you could give to your new neighbors or loved ones making a fresh start in a new abode.
-- A tree. Okay, so not the best option for someone in an apartment and it may seem odd sauntering up the walkway with a tree, but it's a great housewarming present for families. They can take pictures next to it and see how it and their kiddos grow over the years.
-- A neutral wreath. Add some orange and red ribbon and pinecones, and it's Fall. Maybe decorate it with green and gold for Winter. Perhaps switch it to blues and some faux eggs for Spring. A wreath is so easily transformed season to season, holiday to holiday, it's a perfect gift for any home.
-- A set of specialty mugs. Everyone loves a good mug, so why not present them with new ones for their new home? Think holiday mugs or ones that are extra big to hold soup or oatmeal. Pair them with some tea and coffee for a no-fail, sure-to-work-for-every-family gift.
What do you love to give as a housewarming gift?