Whether you are giving your own housewarming speech or offering to speak at a housewarming for a friend or relative, it is important to stress the themes of new beginnings, feeling welcome and making new memories. A housewarming speech also is an opportunity to thank everyone who came to celebrate this important personal event.
Thank Guests for Attending
Begin the speech by expressing appreciation for everybody's attendance. The sentiment may be as simple as "Thank you all for coming" or "Your presence is appreciated at this special moment in our lives." If any particular guest helped in the process of finding, decorating or purchasing the home in any significant way, thank him by name and relate how he helped. Keep these statements brief and descriptive, such as "Special thanks to Uncle Bob, who first saw this listing in the newspaper and called us immediately. We don't know if we would have found this home without him."
Express Wishes for the Future
If this is the place where you or the new homeowner intend to raise a family, start a business or bring home a new spouse, the housewarming speech should celebrate that milestone. Speak about the new memories you hope to make or the happy moments you wish for the new homeowner. Be specific to the new house; if the house has an old oak tree, talk about how you look forward to watching your children play around it as they grow up. If the house has a big fireplace, you might talk about hanging Christmas stockings there. Express sentiments personal to you or the new homeowner.
Tell a Story
Sometimes it is appropriate to tell a funny or personal story in a housewarming toast. For example, you might share a happy memory about a traditional backyard game of catch you hope begins again in the new home. You could reminisce about a happy childhood playing in the attic and talk about hoping your children have similar adventures in the new attic. Think about your favorite memories and share your hopes for how they would fit in the new home.
Give a toast using a traditional housewarming blessing or poem. There are many sentiments to choose from when giving a housewarming speech. A few examples are an Irish house toast: “May joy and peace surround you, Contentment latch your door; And happiness be with you now, And bless you evermore.” A line from an Emily Dickinson poem reads, “Where thou art – that – is Home.” Or quote Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. with “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
Present Traditional Gifts
Instead of a straightforward speech, consider presenting new homeowners with a selection of traditional housewarming gifts. Present each gift with a brief description of its symbolism. According to real-estate agent Jessi Hall, traditional gifts include bread, wine, salt, a broom and candles. Give bread so they never go hungry, wine so they know joy and prosperity, and salt so life in the new home will have flavor. A broom represents a wish for the new home to be tidy and welcoming, and present candles so there always is light and warmth.
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Fern Morris has been writing about the arts, culture, etiquette and society since 2004. She has published her work internationally in various magazines, websites, exhibition catalogues and academic journals.