With the 2020 real estate boom in Ottawa, many of our friends sold their homes and purchased new ones. Unfortunately, with the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, I haven’t actually been able to visit them. The one silver lining, however, is that I have had a lot of time to think and prepare the perfect housewarming gift to bring with me when the time comes. Below is a list of a few of my favourites:
Maybe it’s because it’s December and we’re nearing the end of the holiday season but the first gift that comes to mind is a Christmas Ornament that commemorates the new home. We had this one made when we moved into our second home. It is personalized with our home address and the month/year that we moved in. We’ll continue to put it up even though we don’t live there anymore because it symbolizes the growth of our family (Theo was born and Luca was conceived during the time we lived there).
I have a select group of friends who still enjoy using the good ol’ snail mail (I am one of those who will always appreciate receiving letters in the mail!). So for those who like to send out birthday invites, holiday cards or any other type of letter mail, a personalized address stamp is the perfect housewarming gift! You can find some budget friendly self-inking stamps online and, if you want to take it up a notch, I am a sucker for embossers – they are classy and can be used as a decor piece in your office or on a desk.
If letter mail is not your thing, I also love having (and giving, of course) custom stamps for the reader, the cook, the gardener, etc. Stamps that say “From the Library Of [insert family name]” to put on the inside of their favourite books; stamps that say “From the Kitchen Of [insert family name]” to put on recipes or cookbooks; or stamps that say “From the Garden Of [insert family name]” to put on notes when they gift fruits and vegetables from their future garden…
This one I haven’t yet had a chance to gift but I will be ordering plenty for us when we move into our home and will be sure to grab a few for some select friends. Chances are if you are going to a housewarming party then the new homeowners likely enjoy hosting. Personalized party stationary such as doggy bags or paper guest towels are sure to impress and provide the special added touch.
A bottle of wine or alcohol is always a safe gift when you don’t know what to get or when you are short on time. If you want to go the extra mile, consider getting a bottle from the year the house was built.
This bottle isn’t fancy and not something I would drink but I’m holding onto it for the next friend who buys a house built in 2007!
Side Note: Depending on when your friends moved in, you may want to consider adding a bottle opener with the bottle. When we moved into our last home, we invited friends over for drinks; unfortunately, it wasn’t until they were there and the wine glasses were out that I realized our bottle opener was still in one of the many boxes that we had not yet unpacked…
If your host is someone with a penchant for decor, consider gifting a coffee book from their favourite designer or travel or home decor. If you happen to have nice handwriting, consider inscribing something house related in the book. While not necessarily house-related, for our first wedding anniversary, Paolo had our wedding song inscribed in a “Humans of New York” book that I was looking to get. It was the perfect “paper gift” and is a coffee book that still conjures up conversation whenever someone opens it and sees the writing…
This is one I hadn’t thought of until it was gifted to us but it is something I have gifted a few times during this pandemic! When we moved in to our second home, our builder (Mattamy Homes) gifted us a one year subscription to the Style At Home magazine. I loved it – mainly because I was already a long-time purchaser of the monthly magazine but also because I thought it was a perfect gift to give to someone who has purchased a home but whom you won’t actually get to visit in person. It’s a great pandemic present, or a gift to send a friend who you won’t be visiting for a while, etc.