On Sunday, we had to attend a housewarming party for two guy friends who had bought a house together as roommates. I racked my brain about gift ideas for them – they don’t drink wine and I didn’t want to buy them a gift card (I hate giving gift cards – not only because they indicate a lack of personal interest but also because it just doesn’t sit right with me that a person knows exactly how much I spent on them).
Regardless, I wasn’t sure what to do so I took to the Internet and thanks to some lovely inspiration that I’m now not sure where I stumbled upon it, I came up with this gift basket.
I had long ago heard of a tradition of giving bread, salt and wine as a welcoming gift but I’m not sure of it’s origins and the Internet is all over the place with it. However, I found something a bit more elaborate that I really enjoyed pulling together. The great thing about it is that I think it well suited to the fact that these friends weren’t a couple and they were men. In other words, most of the food items would greatly benefit them.
Here’s what I packed in the basket:
- Bread: to stave off hunger. — I represented this with blueberry muffins wrapped in a matching dishtowel that I used to line the basket.
- Salt: for a flavourful life. — I bought some fancy Fleur de Sel since giving normal table salt seemed so boring.
- Candle: to banish bad karma. — I stuck with a nice clean Lemon Verbena one that I got from Target. I didn’t want anything too girly and I think lemon is a great scent for the kitchen.
- A Jar of Honey or a Bowl of Sugar: so the new house really is home, sweet home. — In this case, I went with a bottle of maple syrup because one of the guys is a big fan and well, you can’t get much more sugary than maple syrup.
- A Bottle of Wine: for joy. — Like I said, they don’t drink wine so I bought a reasonable bottle of champagne because, well, everyone needs at least one bottle of champagne in the house.
- A Bouquet: with an odd number of flowers, for beauty and abundance. — I subbed in a succulent plant because, well, they’re boys and the succulent just looked much cooler.
I fit everything nicely in the basket and cut out some tags that I wrote what each thing was and it’s meaning on the back. I then tied them their corresponding gifts with silver ribbon.
Two other things I could’ve included but just didn’t have the time or means to are:
- A Broom: to sweep away trouble. They should leave it behind when they move again; it’s bad luck to take it with you.
- A shiny new coin: to bring luck and prosperity.
It seemed to go over pretty well and I think this might be something I adopt with most people. It’s quick and easy and fairly reasonable on price. And it’s not really gender or situation specific.
What do you give for housewarming? Do you have any other traditions that you like to do?