In medieval times, communities would help families settle into their new homes by helping to “warm” them up. They brought firewood as a gift, - it was also said to ward off evil spirits. While we no longer to bring firewood , it is interesting and meaningful to recall the original spirit of housewarming with a traditional gift.
In Jewish tradition as well, this custom holds strong. We try to welcome new members to our communities, to help them feel comfortable and accepted. We are all part of something much greater than us, and friendly, thoughtful gifts are a great way to connect us all together.
So while some of these gifts are rooted in Italian, German, or Russian roots, and others Jewish by nature, there are plenty of traditional, meaningful gifts you could consider before attending your next housewarming party!
7 Traditional Housewarming Gifts:
Bread: The staple element. Bread is universally recognized as the vital, symbolic sign of life and sustenance. Be it a roll, a loaf, a challah...bread represents the very nature of our survival!
Sugar/ Honey: Not simply a Rosh Hashana special, these ingredients accurately symbolize the hope and blessing for a sweet, meaningful life!
Houseplant: Bring some nature, growth and life into a new home with a lovely young houseplant as a gift.
Birkat Habayit: The traditional Birkat Habayit, or Blessing of the Home is a lovely, meaningful decoration that every Jewish home should contain. It wishes its owners a healthy, happy, successful life in their new home...who doesn't want that??
Mezuza: Similar to a Birkat Habayit, mezuzot date way back in Jewish tradition. Throughout the years, Jewish homes around the world have been identifiable by their mezuzot, hanging in the doorpost. A good omen, and declaration of Jewish faith, mezuzot are a great, beautiful way to help establish a new Jewish home.
Food!!: No Jewish list would be complete without it :-) Whether it's ruggelach, cake, or even some hot choulent! Us Jews know how to eat, and hopefully our loved ones know how to bake/cook!
Shabbat/Holiday items: Other traditional, Jewish essentials include a Kiddush cup, Shabbat candlesticks, Challah Covers...We help and encourage those dear to us to build a home and family filled with love and hospitality, tradition and faith, specifically by continuing these well-established traditions our People have known for so long.
But the list of housewarming gifts is of course endless, and sometimes it's also nice to break from the tradition :-)
At Barbara Shaw Gifts, we pride ourselves in beautiful, traditional and non, housewarming gifts for you and your loved ones! Between Mezuzot, Birkat Habayit signs, Netilat Yadayim towels, Door signs...you are sure to find the perfect gift to bestow upon any new home owner. We also have an exciting Housewarming Gift Box option coming soon! Come and see for yourself what we have to offer!