By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
A housewarming party is a traditional gathering to celebrate moving to a new home
. It is also a way to invite friends, family, and acquaintances to see your new home and is sometimes used to gather gifts that will make living in your new location more enjoyable. However, housewarming parties are also somewhat of a mystery to many people. Especially if you've moved in the winter months and want to throw a housewarming party to rival holiday parties occurring around the same time.
If you've recently moved and are thinking about throwing a housewarming party and have never done so before or want to throw a great holiday-themed housewarming party for your new home, this article is for you. Today, we're here to outline the basics of hosting your own housewarming party. When to host it, who to invite, what to serve, and how to make it an enjoyable holiday-season event.
When to Throw a Housewarming Party
Many people aren't quite sure whether a housewarming party should be thrown when the house is empty to show off its lovely basic structure or after you have everything unpacked and furnished. While you can throw an "Empty House Party" early in the move-in process, this is a trend usually reserved for very young people and guests who like to sit on the floor and don't have much furniture to speak of anyway.
For most adults, a housewarming party should be hosted by the resident when everything is unpacked. Officially, it is your way of announcing that you are fully settled in and ready to host guests in the future. So "when" is whenever you are fully unpacked, and your home is in a welcoming state for you and guests.
How to Decorate
Housewarming parties are among the most low-key kind of party you can throw. Birthday parties normally feature banners, balloons, and crepe paper streamers. Christmas parties feature a tree, tinsel, wrapped presents, and candles. Even anniversary parties tend to feature a romantic theme. But a housewarming party is meant to feature one thing: Your house.
The best way to decorate for a housewarming party is to allow yourself to decorate your home with enthusiasm. Hang curtains, put up framed pictures that you like, set knick-knacks on the side-tables, and put out your favorite throw pillows and blankets. Use this as an excuse to commit to decorating your new home rather than leaving the walls and surfaces bare.
Who to Invite
Now for the invite-list. This will depend heavily on who you know in the area. If you are in your home-town, friends and family are your go-to guests to a housewarming as they will inevitably want to come checkout your new space. However, if you've moved far away from personal contacts, housewarmings are a great time to invite coworkers and friendly acquaintances to a casual event in your home because this is such a laid-back event.
And if you don't know anyone at all yet, invite your nearby neighbors. In fact, neighbors are always good additions to a housewarming invite list. Others on your street or in your apartment building will feel welcome and may quickly become new friends if you invite them to a casual afternoon/evening in your new home.
What to Serve
Most people don't choose to host a formal dinner for a housewarming party. Instead, consider offering a few platters of fun snacks or inviting everyone to bring their best party pot-luck dish. It's totally fine to source party trays from the grocery store and many people arrange for party-tray catering from their favorite restaurant. Just remember to keep it casual and tasty.
For a diverse list of guests, especially if this includes coworkers or neighbors you don't know well, you will also want to make sure there are vegetarian, nut-safe, and gluten-free options just in case.
Gifts or No Gifts?
Housewarming parties vary wildly on the gift issue. Gifts for the host are most common if you are a young adult moving into your first place on your own. These take much the same form as wedding gifts: cookware, blenders, matching towel sets, and so on. And these gifts are most likely to come from older friends and family members.
Otherwise, you can indicate on the invites that small gifts are welcome but not necessary. For affluent adults throwing a housewarming party, you might even take it the other way and offer a small host-gift to each of your guests to commemorate the event.
Housewarming Around the Holidays
Finally, how to make it a holiday themed event without overshadowing the fun of welcoming everyone to see and enjoy your new home? The best way to do this is with fun and festive seasonal touches without going overboard. If you already have your tree up, you might invite your guests to make or bring an ornament to add to an already attractively decorated tree. Snowflakes and glass icicles are a great way to decorate that is seasonal but not very holiday-specific.
One great approach is to serve hot cocoa, hot cider or cold eggnog to guests as traditional holiday drinks. And don't be surprised if one or two Santa hats appear on guests feeling festive.
Throwing a housewarming party for yourself is one of the most enjoyable things you can do after moving into a new home. Whether you are surrounded by friends and family or reaching out to new coworkers and neighbors, a few hors-d'oeuvres and drinks will make it a delightful evening for everyone.
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