You know when your friends live across town and then they move within 5 minutes of you?? That’s so fun. And it happened this past weekend when our friends Liz and Lloyd moved just south of us.
Our friends Ashley and Brad are about to move into our neighborhood, and I couldn’t be more excited. I love my coffee dates with Ash, and now we’ll be able to walk to Tiny’s No. 5 for afternoon drinks too!
Whitney’s brother and his wife also just bought a new house – their first one! They’ll be moving into it later this fall, and in the meantime, I’ve been reminiscing about buying our first house and how it’s so fun to finally be able to make something all yours. I didn’t love all of the windows we had to replace due to rot, but I did love picking out paint colors and planning our landscaping.
And another fun thing? One of Whit’s friends from high school and business school is moving in next door to us with his wife and son (and a baby on the way!) in a few weeks.
So, with all of these moves, it’s no wonder that I’ve been doing some thinking about housewarming gifts. Here are a few of my favorites:
Hands down, one of the most important things you need to know about your neighborhood is where you can get the best takeout.
I know, I know. This blog is (mostly) about cooking. And yet, here I am encouraging you to identify good takeout. But don’t we all know how it feels after a long day when you can’t even face your fridge, much less your oven? Sometimes, all you need is good Chinese food or New York-style pizza delivered to your doorstep.
So, if you’re familiar with the neighborhood your friends are moving into, set them up with a collection of takeout menus from your favorite spots in a neat organizer.
A great way to make a permanent mark on your new home is to plant a tree that will be there long after you’re gone. It’s a fun activity that you can involve your kids in too, if you have any.
So you can go by the nearest garden center and pick up a Persian lime or Meyer lemon tree and bring it to your friends. They’ll be grateful.
Or… You could buy the tree and throw in a bottle of vodka. Now your friends will be really grateful.
In Mexican and Latin American cultures, iron crosses are given as a traditional blessing and sign of continued protection. You could enclose a written prayer with the cross like this one:
Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.
Hardware Store Gift Card
Buying a new house is expensive, yo. Enough said.
A Home-cooked Meal
This is maybe the most useful gift of all. Take a load off of your friends’ shoulders by offering to bring dinner to their new house while they’re unpacking. Don’t forget the wine and dessert. In fact, you could probably skip the main course if you double up on the wine.
And for the friends that have everything? Make a donation in their name to Habitat for Humanity, which helps families escape from unsafe, unhealthy living conditions by building decent and affordable houses with no-interest mortgages.
It’s nice to celebrate your friends’ new home, but its also really nice to remember those who are not as lucky as you may be. Your gift would provide a hand-up to someone in need.