Symbolic Housewarming Gifts

Written by cynthia johanson
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Symbolic Housewarming Gifts
Giving bread sends a wish for plentiful food in the new home. (ITALIAN BREAD image by brelsbil from

A friend moves out of her parents' suburban home to her first big-city apartment downtown. A new family with small children moves into your long-established neighorhood from out of state. An elderly couple retires to a dream condominium in an active lifestyle community at the beach. Whatever the circumstances, friends and neighbours can help celebrate a fresh start by offering a welcome with a symbolic housewarming gift.

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Symbolic Food Gifts

Many cultures attach meaning to gifts of food and wine, and edible gifts are often warmly welcomed, especially on moving day when people have not yet unpacked their kitchenware. In Italy, giving a home-baked loaf of bread sends the wish that the inhabitant will never go hungry. In Greece, giving a full-bodied wine means the recipient will never go thirsty. Olive oil sends a wish for good health, and a jar of local honey hopes for a sweet life to the new residents.

Olive oil symbolises good health.
Olive oil symbolises good health. (Olive Oil image by elmgrover from

Symbolic Live Gifts

When someone moves, she will be symbolically putting down new roots. A welcoming housewarming gift of a live plant implies that the new homeowner is a welcome member to the community. Fresh daisies or a flowering azalea bush can quickly add a colourful touch to a home even before all the moving boxes are unpacked. Tulip or daffodil bulbs, especially attached with an offer to plant them, provide a gift that keeps on giving year after year. Many families have to leave behind their old plants because movers are reluctant to take them, so help start their new collection.

Plants help homeowners put down roots.
Plants help homeowners put down roots. (plant image by laviniaparscuta from

Symbolic Home Gifts

Giving a home decor gift can be tricky because of individual tastes, but several fit the bill quite well. Candles traditionally symbolise light and warmth, which provide a meaningful welcome to a new homeowner. Pineapple-themed decorative items are a long-recognised symbol of hospitality; in fact, inhabitants of Guadalupe presented Christopher Columbus with pineapples when he arrived in 1493. For a more practical gift, welcome new neighbours with a book of coupons to local businesses and restaurants, as a way of welcoming them to the community.

Symbolic Housewarming Gifts
Candles bring warmth and light to a new home. (candles image by Warren Millar from

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