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Traditional Housewarming Gifts (And What They Symbolize)

Here are a handful of items that are traditionally given to new homeowners with each holding their own special meaning. I’ve done some research and some say they are rooted in Jewish custom, others say Italian, German, Russian. I think it’s safe to say they each started in the “old country” (Europe) and have carried over to the new (America).

If you’ve always wondered why an item was given and what it meant, here’s a handy reference list for you.


You can give a single item, a couple or fill a basket with all of them. Make each a little more special by wrapping in ribbon or raffia, cover jar lids with fabric or lace. Tuck in a handwritten note with the meaning of each item given.