5 minute read  •  Social & Fun

How to have a housewarming

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Image what life would be like if you were able to win a house. And not just any house, but a Mater prize home! If you are the lucky winner of the latest lottery, you could soon be moving into a tropical paradise retreat in Cairns.

This four bedroom, four bathroom home is surrounded by tropical rainforest and overlooks the valley. With gorgeous bi-fold doors that create welcoming indoor/outdoor living spaces, plus a huge deck with barbecue and a sparkling pool and spa, you’ll be able to entertain all day and night long.


The origin of a housewarming comes from medieval times when guests were invited to a new home to literally ‘warm’ it by building fires in all available fireplaces. Firewood was the gift and it was believed that the exercise would ward off evil spirits by creating a protective atmosphere of warmth.

In French-speaking countries, a housewarming is called a pendaison de émaillère. Also from medieval times, it refers to the ‘hanging of the chimney hook’—this hook, which was always the last item to be installed in the home, was used to adjust the pot height of a pot of food hung over the fireplace. All those who helped build the house were invited over for a thank you meal, using the chimney hook for the first time.

Who to invite

While the obvious guest list includes your family and friends, why not extend the invitation to your new neighbours? This is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbours and have a real sense of community. After all, who’s watching over your house when you’re not home? It’s usually your friendly neighbour you can count on when you need someone to keep an eye on your place when you’re out of town, or need someone to collect the mail or water plants. Plus if you have children, this is a great way to get to know the families in your street. If you choose not to invite your neighbours on this occasion, it’s still encouraged to slip them a little note advising you’re having a party and that you hope you don’t disturb them.

New to the area? Why not tell some of your family/friends and new work colleagues to bring a guest with them! It’s a great way to meet more people and really get to know your community.


Whether you want to send your invites by traditional methods or in a digital format, be sure to include all the info. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised the little details people forget.

Be sure to add: date, time, address (include directions). Where should your guests park? Is public transport nearby or should they take a cab? Do you need them to bring anything—plate of food, drinks, togs and towel if you’re planning on a pool party. What should they wear? Tip: Keep it casual.

Meet and greet

Be sure to appoint someone to meet your guests upon their arrival. Remember, this is quite possibly their first time to your new pad so will need some direction. Let them know where to leave any coats or bags (have you designated a space for this?), tell them where the bathroom is, let them know where to put their drinks (if they’ve brought their own) and direct them to where you ultimately want your guests to mingle.


Rather than taking each guest on an individual tour, let them know upon arrival that you’ll take groups through once everyone has arrived. This way, everyone will get to see your fabulous new pad and you’ll get to spend more time at your party rather than retracing your steps throughout your new home.

Be bathroom ready

Make sure the bathroom/s you’ve appointed for guest use during your housewarming are party-ready. Keep it fully stocked with toilet paper and try to make it obvious where you keep the extra rolls. Have lots of hand towels and/or paper towels (plus bin) at the ready and why not purchase some special soap for the event—everyone loves a fancy hand wash. Make sure you take time throughout your party to keep an eye on the bathrooms to make sure they are clean, tidy and stocked. It might sound like a simple tip, but this can easily be overlooked and no-one like to find themselves in an un-stocked or dirty bathroom.


Don’t forget to create a fun playlist! A party isn’t a party without music. Know your audience and include appropriate songs for all guests invited—and always be mindful of your neighbours when it comes to the noise.


It is customary to bring a gift when you are invited to a housewarming. Whether it be an item suitable to use in the new abode such as china, glassware, linen or plants, or to bring something for the hosts to eat or drink at the party, or maybe just a bouquet of flowers to serve as a congratulations.

A bluebird theme is often used when gift-giving, as bluebirds are said bless the new house with good luck and happiness.

In the America’s, pineapples and coconuts are commonly presented to the hosts as they serve as a symbol of hospitality and warm welcome. In parts of Scotland and England, a frog is seen as a giver of good luck. In Germany they are more accustomed to giving gift certificates.

If you are lucky enough to receive gifts, then you might want to consider a table where your guests can place them upon arrival. This way you can open them the day after—no-one wants to sit around watching you open them on the day of the party. You should be spending time with your guests instead. Always make sure you send a thank you note for those who were kind enough to give you something, and even to those who took the time to attend your party.

It’s party time

Tropical North Queensland affords its residents and visitors beautiful weather all year round. So no matter when you move in, you’ll be able to find a suitable date to host your housewarming on your new deck.

If holding a housewarming party in this Cairns oasis worth $1.8 million sounds like a dream come true, make sure you purchase tickets today. Not only are you in with a chance to win a lifestyle that will make you feel like you’re on a permanent vacation, you’ll also be supporting ongoing patient care and medical research at Mater Brisbane.

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