Congratulations! You are the proud new owner of a beautiful house from Miller Family Homes! Let me guess, all your friends and family members asking you when they can come over and see your new house. Oh, and did I forget that that your neighbors in the community are looking at you like you just stole their family cat? Well, you can solve that problem all at one time. If you think I lost my marbles, well not quite yet. You can have a housewarming party, and this will solve all your worries and stress. Plus, the benefit is you only have to host and clean one time!
1. Little Fun History Lesson
If you think this idea is old fashioned, then you are absolutely right! This tradition goes back centuries! The term “Housewarming” means just as it sounds. You are inviting people over to warm up your house. This sounds silly but back in the 1600’s the houses did not have Central Heat, but they did have warm bodies and fireplaces! When you invited Bob & Janice over for this grand occasion, they would come over and offer firewood for a “housewarming gift.” There are also some spiritual beliefs, from the medieval times, that having all your friends and family over is thought to create a warm atmosphere to ward-off any lingering spirits that were to make for an unhappy occupancy.
Okay, I fibbed, just one more brief bit of information. If you are from the South, you may refer to a housewarming party as a “Food Pounder.” This idea has my heart as a foodie. Tradition for this ideology your guests would arrive with a pound of food to welcome you into your new home. They make sure that your pantry is full. Bless my heart, but I love this idea! They were knowing to bring flour, sugar, cheese, cornmeal, and canned goods!
2. Why Throw a Party?
If you are really reading this blog, you then you are actually considering having a party. I say stick with your gut and do it! This is something that you will look back on and be glad that you did it! Buying your first home is a big life accomplishment. You have a house, and it is yours. You can paint the walls any bold color you want, and not have to worry about dealing with a landlord! If you need some more convincing, here are a few notable ideas.
Incentive to Unpack
Moving is the worse! You have to put all of your stuff into boxes, and then you happen to find stuff you forget you had and then you start reminiscing over the smallest of items you should have detached yourself from years ago. Then once you move all your boxes, you have to unpack the just packed boxes in new house. All you are doing now is dragging your feet! If you were to throw a housewarming party that would solve you from dragging your feet and accomplish the task of unpacking and organizing to make it look like you have your life in order!
Get to Know the Neighbors
You are now the permanent resident of “123 Your New Street,” and you are the new family on the block. Neighbors do not just show up anymore with a welcome wagon filled with jams and jelly to fulfill their curiosity. They put their fingers in the blinds and peek at you hoping that you don’t notice they are watching. It is human nature to be curious, so if you host a housewarming party, this is the perfect time for you to get the scoop of your neighbors and the community.
Inform Friends and Family of New House
This idea may or may not be beneficial for you. You may not want people to know where you live! Joking, where else are they going to send your Christmas gifts! Inviting people into your home will make sure that they know that you moved, and they can update their contact information. In this big milestone you are going to want to share your happiness and excitement with your friends and family.
Show Off Your New Home
You just bought a home and are accomplishing a huge milestone in the American Dream why not boast a little! You will be able to give tours and point our all your favorite things about the house. People are going to come to help celebrate you and your achievement! You might become an inspiration to your friends who are thinking of buying a forever home but are too scared or unsure of the process! Be the spark in their life!
3. Choose a Date for Your Housewarming Party
So, you have decided to go ahead with the housewarming party, I know this, because you are still reading. I got you roped in, well saddle up partner this is where the planning all starts! You are going to need to set a date. You should do this with in 6 months of moving into your new house, but not extend more than a year of residency in your new home. Consider a date in the afternoon or evening on a weekend. Make sure that you set a specific time; examples, 11am to 2pm if you are considering a brunch or 6pm to 9pm for the evening. You want to make sure that your guests to the start and end time of the event.
4. Party Gift Registry, Guest List, and Invitations
When it come to the gift registry, DO NOT DO ONE. Housewarming gifts are already very common for the occasion, and you have a chance of offending your guests. This is a large milestone in your life, but it is not life altering like marriage or having a baby.
When you start thinking about the people close to you in life those are the people that you are going to want to have over for your party. Like I said this isn’t like getting married, you are not obligated to invite certain people. I’m just joshing, or am I? Anyways, start your invitation list and then think about co-workers that you have a civil relationship with and if you are comfortable enough, invite your new neighbors over for a grand time to get to know them.
How are you going to let your friends and family know that you are having a housewarming party? A housewarming party is an informal event, so you are able to do a phone call, e-mail, snail mail, text message, or a group event. You need to think about what message you are going to send as the pitch. If you are having a dinner party, it would be a good idea to send out an invitation to get an RSVP for your food counts; however, this is not necessary.
5. Housewarming Theme
When talking themes, I am not thinking of a Jay Gatsby’s type of party, I am thinking of more for the mood of the party and food selection. Just remember you do not have to go extreme on this party, you just bought a house and people understand that. A large portion of your savings are now gone. Make sure any decision made is reasonable. Here are a few themes to have you bounce around.
The good ol’ fashioned potluck! This is a perfect idea if you are not a cook, still unpacking, and on a tight budget. You can have your friends and family members come over all carrying in some food. If they do previously ask you what to bring, do not be afraid to turn them in a direction that will keep you from having duplicate dishes, or something that you know they excel in that you crave.
How does your landscape look? If it is something to brag about, make sure that you have a Garden Party. This is the perfect area to show off the landscape and openness of your patio or backyard. This would be the perfect area for a brunch!
If you are not wanting to have everyone stay for the entire duration, do a more traditional Open House. People will come and go, and you can be more interactive with every guest while you give them a tour of the house.
Help Us Out
Are you still stuck in the unpacking phase? Well, you don’t have to do it alone. If you are open to the idea of your closet friends and family helping you unpack, throw a Help Us Out Party. Give them a box with a room label and let them go to work. This will speed up your unpacking and decision making.
Paint a Room
When you moved in, where there some walls that you dreaded the awful colors or just wanting to add some color? Invite people over to help you. Why suffer alone painting the walls when you can invite your friends and family over to suffer too! Make sure that you have the needed materials and colors picked out before they arrive, I doubt you want to hear all their suggestions.
Stock the Bar
This idea is for a cocktail party. You can have your guests bring their favorite liquor to stock your bar and one for them to drink during the party! You can have a lot of fun with this theme from decorations to costumes! It is after all your house, your party, and your rules! So why not make Aunt Bertha dress like the Flapper from the Roaring 20’s to celebrate this milestone!
The way to everyone’s hearts is through their stomach! When I first heard this, I thought man, that is very true. You can serve a variety of hot or cold hors o’dourves to a full dinner. Depending on the theme or ambiance that you are trying to create, the food selection will go hand in hand. Make sure that you consider your guest list when making the menu, you will need to take inconsideration any food restrictions that your guests may have. Aunt Bertha is already in the Flapper outfit, you do not want her shellfish allergy flaring up!
Let’s be honest, some people just can’t cook. If that is you no worries, hire a catering company or outsource it to a friend that is attending the party. This will also take stress off of you and you will be able to work on the tiny minute details that might get overlooked and you will have more time for entertaining.
7. Party Decorations
Put out your yard Flamingos! It’s party time! Seriously, if you own these do it, but if not, decorations are not a big thing to worry about at a housewarming party. If you wanted to put up a banner that would suffice for the occasion. If you were to choose a theme and want to go 100% all in that be fun and vibrant. Just remember, you want to have fun with you close friends and family, so do not stress the unnecessarily details.
8. Housewarming Party Etiquette
Alright, Susie Homemaker, grab you best apron and let’s be the best hostess that you can be! You are having your closets friends and family over to see you new home! Hospitality is the word of the evening, and you are a going to have to wear multiple hats for this joyous occasion. Just remember to smile, be curious, and have fun. If someone offers to help, do not feel obligated to say yes or no. Trust me, if Aunt Bertha wants to do the dishes and won’t take no for an answer, just let her not worth arguing over.
When it comes to entertainment, you know your guest list the best. Games are not for every crowd, but they might just work for yours! If you are having a lot of people over it can be something on the side and mot a main staple of the party. Here are a few Games for you to consider.
- Scavenger Hunt
- Keep Your Key
- Room Memory
- Home Trivia
- Treasure Hunt
10. Thank You Cards
Great News! You do not have to write thank you cards for everyone who attended the party and gave you gifts! However, if someone really helped you throughout your journey or bought you an exquisite gift then most defiantly handwrite a thank you card. Since, you did not fill out a gift registry so if someone brought you a welcoming gift, for example of firewood to keep your house warm, make sure you thank them at the party and give them a hug and praise. It is the thought that counts, and nothing says thank you more than some affection.