We don’t have such tradition in Italy, so I was curious to learn more about this special occasion, a party with friends given for the inauguration of a new home.
After all, Americans have a party for any occasion, and so here is the Housewarming Party, literally “party to warm up the house” given the festive atmosphere created by having people come over your place for the first time.
The inauguration of the house often also marks the beginning of a new life and therefore is certainly a valid reason to celebrate.
For me it is the inauguration of my new life in the US and a celebration for my promotion at work.
This type of party is a custom now well rooted in the US, where it represents an opportunity to show family and acquaintances your new home, by visiting rooms and offering a look at the different projects or works done, on which opinions and comments are requested and are typically the main topic of conversation during the party itself.
At times, this party is also an opportunity to invite new neighbors and get to know them better in a convivial and informal setting.
And this is what I have done. I learnt that there is another Italian guy living in my building and also that my next-door neighbor is an E.R. (Emergency Room) doctor which could be useful – you never know…
If you are invited to such a party, it is of course a good idea not to show up with empty hands.
The most appropriate gift for this occasion must be, rather than a personal gift to the host, a useful object for the house.
I received anything from candles to a beautiful pasta strainer and even a lamp, but many colleagues just preferred to bring a bottle to share.
I have even heard that, in some cases, people prepare a wish list at some gift shop in which the chosen objects are listed and guests can choose from to avoid giving something double or useless for the host.
This is to help your friend who probably has just faced many expenses: a mortgage to buy or a rental contract, renovation costs, purchase of furniture, etc. So, a little help to complete the setting up of the house is kindly appreciated.
The choice of the gift obviously also depends on the budget available. So, if you are a group of friends and by adding up the contribution of each you can orient yourself on a fair amount, you could also choose a beautiful design object for your home, such as a lamp from some famous brand.
If, on the other hand, the budget available is not very high, a little present is enough, such as a practical key ring to hang the house keys for instance.
I was mostly interested in learning how to organize one since I was the host of the party.
First of all, must the party be an informal or formal occasion?
Much also depends on the guests and the type of relationship you have with them.
It is therefore important to draw up a list of guests first so you can choose the style of the party.
It is important to include some info in the invitation such as precise address, gate code info and parking recommendations if any.
For the occasion, you need to prepare some refreshments and, if the house is still not perfectly stocked, it is easier to choose a catering service or some delivery food.
Paper or plastic plates, cups and cutlery will certainly be suitable for the occasion, so you don't have to think about washing the dishes at the end of the party.
The important thing is to have a sufficient number of seats to allow all guests to sit down whether it is a sofa, a love seat or even foldable chairs.
MY HOME IN AUSTIN, TX