Here's what George and Mary gave and the reasons behind it:
"Bread ... so that this house may never know hunger.
Salt ... so that life may always have flavor.
And wine ... so that joy and prosperity may reign forever."
And if you're tight on cash, you can always print out a good bread recipe and include a coupon for wine in your local Sunday newspaper. I don't know a clever way to include salt without buying it though. You're on your own there.
Now upon researching it, there's actually a lot of variations depending on the kind of tradition you want to follow. For example, the Jewish tradition substituted wine for sugar, saying "Sugar, so your life shall always have sweetness."
Another tradition adds a broom: "to sweep your troubles away."
These are fun, symbolic gifts, in my opinion. I would much rather have something like this than any set amount of dollars on a gift card. But this is just me, someone who romanticizes the true nature of the film, "It's a Wonderful Life."
So tell me your thoughts. Are you more inclined to give this at a housewarming party now? What is the best housewarming gift you gave or seen someone else give?