The tradition of the housewarming party dates back to medieval times, when heat was provided by burning wood. Guests would often arrive with gifts of firewood, so the newly settling family could warm the house and chase away any evil spirits. Leftover wood would keep their home heated until they could get their own supply. Although you might not get a cord of firewood as a housewarming gift, your guests’ mere presence will surely be enough to bring some warmth and cheer to your new abode.
When to host it
Housewarming parties are usually held a few weeks after moving in, so you have time to paint, clean and prepare to welcome your guests. Make sure you are settled in—you wouldn’t want your friends getting lost among the boxes! On the other hand, you could always throw the party a few days after your move, so your more generous friends could lend a hand at your painting/cleaning party!
What about my cousin’s brother-in-law’s girlfriend?
The more, the merrier! We know, you probably have plenty of friends and want to invite all of them. But think it through—inviting all your friends and your family and colleagues too might make for a huge crowd! So prioritize your guest list, especially if you will be living with flatmates, who will also want to invite everyone they know! Also, if you’re hoping to get along with your neighbours, be sure to let them know a few days before the party that going to bed at 9:00 p.m. might not be an option. In fact, why not invite them to the party?
Most importantly, try to estimate the number of guests that you can realistically host (and stay within the limit!). Although it can be hard, it’s probably a good idea to ask your friends not to invite their friends, lest the party get out of hand. That way, it will be easier to organize the amount of space, snacks and refreshments you’ll need.
Fresh from the market or pizza delivery?
You have two choices when it comes to food: you can either have a potluck or invite everyone to bring a meal of their choice to share, or you can do everything yourself. If you choose the latter, your guest list could take on a whole new importance. To be well prepared, buy everything you need in advance, and try to avoid recipes that require standing in front of the stove all evening! You could even let your guests use your grill to roast their own hot dogs!
What about presents?
It is traditional for guests to bring the host a housewarming gift. Usually, this gift is something that would come in handy in a new home. Nothing too fancy of course, but presents are always nice. If you do get a few gifts, expect things like decorations, cooking accessories, gardening tools or even board games.
Hours and hours of fun!