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Discussion Forums

 

The Etiquette Queen

Questions on Housewarmings


See Other Categories

Ask your questions of the Etiquette Queen now.
You may even see your question and answer posted in the space below.


Brenda asked:

My brother and his family lost their home to a fire a few months ago and now they have moved into a new home. I would like to host a party for them, but I am still confused about an open house -vs- a housewarming? What kind of activities should I plan or is this similar to a shower with gifts and finger foods? Also, are gifts opened as they are at a shower?> Please help.

The Etiquette Queen says:

An open house is just what it says, an opportunity for friends and family to come over and see the new home. A housewarming is also what it says and the new house is warmed with gifts. You must choose which you want to have. An open house usually has flexible hours (i.e. 1-4) where people drop in at their leisure. A housewarming has more of a fixed time like any other party. You don't open the gifts til after the party. As for activities, take a look at the gamegirl site under the appropriate category. Lots of good ideas there.


Jeanne asked:

I'm having a house warming and don't have a clue what to do? What is the proper etiquette? Do I make a "Wish List" for people? Also, my husband wants to have a party afterwards, but I really don't want to invite everyone to the party. How do I discriminate between the party and the house warming? Help!!

The Etiquette Queen says:

Listen Jeanne, if they are good enough to be asked to a housewarming and to bring a gift, they certainly should be good enough to be invited to a party! Forget about having both now. Concentrate on just one. As for a wish list, some people register at places such as Bed, Bath and Beyond.


Judy asked:

Two friends of mine are having a housewarming party. Should they have a list prior to the party with the household items they need or should people bring what they want?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Today, it seems that people register for gifts for a housewarming. Places like Bed, Bath & Beyond. If not, suggest that they do. There will be some that bring what they want regardless of the hostess/host. But it helps if you register.


Kimberly asked:

Who throws a housewarming party? The person moving into >a new home or a friend of the person moving. Also, if the party is >thrown by a friend is it held at the new home?

The Etiquette Queen says:

The party is always held in the new home. That's the place that needs warming by friends and family. Anyone can give the party. I used to think differently but I have come around.


Rhonda asked:

My husband and I are having a fancy Christmas Open House in two weeks. It will be an adults only party but I have hired 2 babysitters to take care of my daughter and any other children who may be present. I am arranging a separate children's party in a room upstairs in my house. My two questions are as follows: I'm paying the babysitters a flat fee for the evening. Is it >inappropriate to ask that any parents who take advantage of these sitters contribute a small amount to be divided between them at the >end of the evening? My husband says we should put out a tip jar for the sitters but not ask for any money. My second questions involves the food. It will be heavy hors d'oeuvres and my plan was to pull out every piece of china and crystal I own and use it, even if it>doesn't match. My husband thinks it would not be proper to use>dinner plates for hors d' oeuvres. Should I scrap this idea and rent dishes or would it be okay to use what I already have? I'm not talking about pottery, but nice, formal china. We have a guest list of about 75 adults so I'd need to use everything I have.

The Etiquette Queen says:

The babysitting situation depends upon how many kids. You might suggest ahead of time to the parents who bring children that they should tip but a tip jar is not a good idea. Looks bad. This might be a question of how much breakage you might find. I am a great believer that if you are having a caterer, use their china and silver when available. That way, nothing can happen to your things. If you have something special you would like to use, go ahead, but this way, when the party's over, it's over. And you won't have to clean your silver ahead of time.


MR asked:

PLEASE ANSWER BY DECEMBER 3, 1999. MY HUSBAND AND I WANT TO GIVE A HOUSEWARMING FOR OUR NEW RESIDENCE >THAT WE MOVED INTO ON OCTOBER 1999. WE WANT TO GIVE IT ON DECEMBER >18. ONE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. IS THIS PROPER?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Sure. You have a ready-made theme, holidays and housewarming.


Linda asked:

Who gives a housewarming party and what should the party be >like? A birthday party (4pm - 6pm) everyone bring a gift and then go >home, (ha!) or more like a cocktail party? 7pm - 'til. What about themes? >Any suggestions Not a good time of year to plan a barbecue.

The Etiquette Queen says:

A housewarming can be given by anyone who would like to, including the homeowners. As for a time, pick what works best for the crowd. Some like daytime because it is usually less expensive in the way of food and drink. Look at the theme page and the gamegirl page for ideas.


Angel asked:

Help! My good friend and I are throwing a new years party>at my house. Well, my husband and I just moved into our new house, and I was thinking it would be neat to also make it a housewarming. >but not for the gifts, I don't need those. So would it be alright to say new years/housewarming with a "no gifts please" clause? or if I'm gonna do that, should I just leave out to housewarming line. I do want to show off my house, but don't want people to bring gifts, or to feel like they have to. we are thinking we want a costume party, and I don't want it to get too confusing, you know, a new years/costume/ housewarming and in one...whew! please help me!

The Etiquette Queen says:

Forget the housewarming part! Too much going on at one time. A New Year's Eve party is more than enough to plan. If later on you want to have a housewarming, do so.


curious asked:

I heard somewhere that it is inappropriate for you or anyone of your immediate family to throw you a housewarming party-that someone outside your family (i.e. a friend) is supposed to do it. Judging from your responses to other people's questions, it seems this is flexible and anyone can throw it. But, going "by the book", who is the best person to throw a housewarming party?

The Etiquette Queen says:

The best person to throw the party is the one who wants to do it. Sometimes it is a boy/girlfriend, sometimes a relative and sometimes it's oneself. the whole purpose is to show your new home to your friends and family and make them feel welcome there.


Confused asked:

I have a couple housewarming party issues I was hoping you might be able to help me with. My boyfriend is moving into his first house soon. I'm thinking of throwing him a housewarming party. My first question is, is it OK for me to throw this party for him. Marriage isn't in our near future or anything, but being that I'm his girlfriend, I don't want people thinking I'm looking for presents for myself. The next question is on the topic of registering for gifts. I've read your comments regarding this and seems to me it can go either way. He was thinking registering at Target, since he knows they have all the practical stuff there (He's going to need everything). What do you think? Oh, and if he does register, how do you go about letting people know? Thanks a bunch.

The Etiquette Queen says:

You can give him a housewarming. You are his friend as well as his girlfriend. You don't live there so the gifts aren't for you. As you said, registering for housewarming can go either way in people's minds. I love registering at Target, my kids did that for their weddings. If someone asks you what he wants or where he's registered, tell them. Otherwise, keep your fingers crossed.


Amy asked:

My boss is having a combo wedding reception/Christmas eve party at a country club she belongs to. She wants guests to dress up in cocktail attire (She as a host will be wearing a gown), she will not mention dress on the invite and is wondering if she should>make the time 6:30pm to 9:30pm or 7:00pm to 9:30pm? She currently has them read 7:00pm to 9:30pm, but does not want people to starve before the party and wonders if she should make it 6:30pm to 9:30pm >or will that lead people to believe they do not have to dress up? >Please help. Thanks!

The Etiquette Queen says:

After 5 is after 5. She should call it what it is. The start time doesn't matter, 6:30 or 7 but plan service accordingly, 45 minutes for cocktails and hors d' oeuvres and then dinner. If the invitation is dressy and she mentions it when people RSVP, that's about she can do.


Alisa asked:

Hi. My husband and I just purchased our first home and have a scheduling dilemma with the housewarming plans. We want to have our house blessed. I am aware of the different personality types within our circle of friends so our plans were to have a house>blessing and invite older friends and relatives (those who are more on the more mundane party side). The housewarming was going to be later for the wilder of the bunch. So I have 3 questions. 1) When is it the proper time span to have a housewarming ( I know we can have a themed party later but I'm curious about housewarming) 2) Whether or not December 18 is too close to Xmas to have the actual housewarming. We were going to have the house blessing on>December 4. My mom seems to think the 18th is too close to Xmas >because people have other priorities. 3) whether or not it would be appropriate for a neighbor who wants to help with the festivities to include a wish list in the invite!

The Etiquette Queen says:

1) What time span, how long is the party, how soon after purchase do you have it. You can have one anytime you wish within the first year. 2) It is close to the holidays but you could combine it with a holiday theme. Otherwise, why not wait til late January when people could use a party. Maybe a SuperBowl theme. 3) If you would like to register at local stores, do it and if people ask, you can tell them, but a wish list is tacky.


Cheyenne asked:

My boyfriend and I have recently moved into a new home and all of our friends have asked when our housewarming will be. My mother will be hosting, but she and I need some pointers. How do we word the invitations, What type of foods should we serve, Should we have alcoholic bevs. available...etc. Could you please give me a few basic guidelines? Also, are there any particular patterns we should follow as to how the party evolves, or what takes place at the gathering? >Thank You >Cheyenne

The Etiquette Queen says:

First, decide whether to do it in the evening or during say a Sunday afternoon. The evening is a bit more formal and would require more food. Sunday could include the football game on for the guys. Decide whether you want full meal or heavy hors d' oeuvres. I like putting on stations in different rooms. Say Bar and cheese and fruit in living room, hot buffet stuff in dining room and do-it-yourself sundaes in the kitchen. If you want to do a good football type food, use chili and chips and fixings like that. The whole purpose of the occasion is to welcome your friends and family to your new home so just relax and enjoy and make your own rules.


Lyn asked:

I am having a housewarming party for my best friend who has everything. i am thinking about making it a "stock the bar" party. I would like a clever and fun way to word the invitation. Can >you give me some ideas? please hurry-I need to send these out in>about 5 days. Do you have any other ideas for a housewarming party for a person with everything?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Good idea but don't just have it for booze but have each person give the recipe for a cocktail and all the ingredients and utensils needed. Someone else could provide such things as coasters, swizzles, etc. Use a theme of "Let's help toast the new couple's home", or "what you get for people who have it all, more!".


Lyn asked:

I am having a housewarming party for my best friend who has everything. i am thinking about making it a "stock the bar" party. I would like a clever and fun way to word the invitation. Can >you give me some ideas? please hurry-I need to send these out in>about 5 days. Do you have any other ideas for a housewarming party for a person with everything?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Good idea but don't just have it for booze but have each person give the recipe for a cocktail and all the ingredients and utensils needed. Someone else could provide such things as coasters, swizzles, etc. Use a theme of "Let's help toast the new couple's home", or "what you get for people who have it all, more!".


Lyn asked:

I am having a housewarming party for my best friend who has everything. i am thinking about making it a "stock the bar" party. I would like a clever and fun way to word the invitation. Can >you give me some ideas? please hurry-I need to send these out in>about 5 days. Do you have any other ideas for a housewarming party for a person with everything?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Good idea but don't just have it for booze but have each person give the recipe for a cocktail and all the ingredients and utensils needed. Someone else could provide such things as coasters, swizzles, etc. Use a theme of "Let's help toast the new couple's home", or "what you get for people who have it all, more!".


Onnie asked:

Hello Etiquette Queen: My boyfriend and I are moving in together and would like to have a housewarming party. We are going with a Chinese Mystery theme. This will be my first apartment my boyfriend's 2nd and we were >wondering if it's ok to register for gifts?

The Etiquette Queen says:

You can register but unless someone asks, there is no way to tell people. You might get a friend to spread the word.


New Party Thrower asked:

A question for you. My boyfriend and I would like to throw a holiday party in December. However, he just moved (in August) into a new house that many of these people have never seen. >Should the invitation mention the new house (i.e., Join us for a Holiday/Housewarming Party on Dec. __) or should we just ignore the >new house? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

The Etiquette Queen says:

You can do both things at the same time. Make it fun. It will be a housewarming with holiday touches.


Chitty asked:

I am throwing my own house warming a month after me and my other half move-in..but my question was is it alright just to invite women.. He does not want anything to do with it! Help!!!! thanks

The Etiquette Queen says:

You can invite anyone you want - it's your party, especially since he doesn't want to participate.


Kathy asked:

I am having a house warming party, many people have told >me to register for gifts. Do you think this is ok?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Go ahead - it seems to be the trend. I used to think not but after checking things out with gift stores and etiquette experts, I am bowing to the new ideas in this case.


Traci asked:

We're having a housewarming party and I'm making it a "Garden Party" theme. I need a way of wording the invitations so that the guests will know that if they decide to bring a gift, we'd like it to be plants/flowers for our backyard garden. also, how do i give them suggestions so we get the kind of >plants we would like to have? is this >asking way to much?? please help me >avoid being rude! :-) >thanks!

The Etiquette Queen says:

I think this is a great idea that just needs refining. Take a picture of your yard and have it made about 5X7 or so. Insert little x's where you would want to plant different things and number them and assign the numbers what they each stand for such as #3-daisy bush, etc. Word the invite like you have decided to warm the outside instead of the inside.


Joyce asked:

I would like to have a Housewarming and my birthday is coming up too. Can I combine a housewarming and birthday celebration? If yes, who should I invite and what kind of invitation and should I ask for gifts? What should I serve? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Of course you can combine them. Why not say "Come and see my new home and my new age" and make a joke about the whole thing. Invite those people you really like and some relatives you know you must have. You don't ask for gifts, people give them. If they ask you what you want, have some suggestions ready in different price ranges and good stores to shop like Bed, Bath and Beyond. what you serve depends upon lots of things, Theme, time of day, budget, no. of people. etc. Snacks and drinks, buffet, sit-down?


Ms. Monique asked:

>Name = >E-Mail = >Comments = I have read through some of the Housewarming questions. I have >a few for you. >1. If I am planning the party then why can't I be the hostess and still >have the party classified as a Housewarming instead of Open House? > >2. How is it that someone else (a friend) can host a party at my house >and ask for gifts but i can't? > >3. Several people have asked me when and if I do have the housewarming >what do I want. Should I since these people are close to me send an >invitation with a list of the items I would like and give the color scheme >of the house? > >

The Etiquette Queen says:

1. You can do that but be sure that the invitation doesn't imply bringing a gift. Some will and some won't. 2. A friend cannot ask for gifts either. It's just easier if someone gives you a party and has more verbal input into the gift situation. 3. Of course, tell them about your house, color scheme, style of decorating, certain needs, etc.


Confused Party-Thrower asked:

I have a question surrounding my housewarming party. I am stuck as to certain aspects of etiquette where this party is concerned. I have invited people that are friends, family and >business associates. This should be a grand party.. i have arranged >catering, small tokens of my appreciation for attending, etc. >However, there is some confusion as to weather or not you are >supposed to "register" for an event like this. People have been >approaching family members asking them what they should bring, etc. >Is it an appropriate thing to "register" for an event like this. My >boyfriend and I are trying to do this the right way but we are >unsure of what the next steps are... CAN YOU HELP???

The Etiquette Queen says:

The only way you should "register" is by work-of-mouth. Tell people what you need or at least where to shop so that you can return unwanted or doubles and get what you like. But registries are for brides.


Lynn asked:

My mother and step-dad have received an invitation to a >house warming party that is an open-house affair. My parents own a >business which assisted the new house owners in preparing the house >for living. > >My mother would like to know if it is proper to bring a gift, if so, >what kind? My parents are somewhat aware of the home owner's taste >in furnishings, but cannot afford much since they are semi-retired >and live on a fixed income. > >If you could send a response as soon as possible so my parents can >reply RSVP in a timely manner. I believe the party is on 10/25/99. > >Thank you.

The Etiquette Queen says:

There is no rule on housewarming gifts. Bring one or not, it doesn't matter. There are a few traditions though. A new penny and a shirt knife are two of them. It's not the price of the gift, it's the thought.


Monique asked:

I've moved into an apartment loft that's very spacious and I wanted to throw my own housewarming, get to gether, I have registered at 2stores, do I indicate this on my invitations? I also have the registry cards from the stores is it tacky to include the cards in the invitation >envelope? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

It is always tacky to ask for gifts. If people are going to get you something, they will just do it. Don't volunteer any infor unless asked.


Deanna asked:

A friend of mine is hosting her own housewarming party. Okay, >I'll go with that and accept it. She does expect her guests to bring >gifts. Okay, I'll go along with that. Now, she's teetering on the edge >of tacky by hosting her own party, but I kind of think this is becoming >more acceptable, however, where I do not agree with her is that she was >wanting her guests to bring a covered dish....and a gift. I pretty much >took the initiative and told her I would help her plan and prepare her >finger foods for the party and that I didn't think it would be advisable >to ask this of her guests. What do you think? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

And just what besides opening the front door is her responsibility going to be? She is way off base. If she is hosting her own party, it's an open house, only someone else gives a housewarming and asks for presents. That doesn't mean that people won't bring gifts. As far as asking them to bring food, I wouldn't come and I bet those that do will resent it. She must make up her mind, either have a pitch-in party (no gifts) or give a party or have someone else do it. Can't have it all!


Debra asked:

Is it tradition for the owners of a new home to throw their own >House Warming party or should it be given for them? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

If the new owners host, it is an Open House. A Housewarming is given by someone else.


Angie Chiu asked:

1. What is the difference between an Open House and an Housewarming?? 2. I have seen all the questions on the site and my question is, why can't you throw your own housewarming?? It's your house! Is it rude to???

The Etiquette Queen says:

1. An Open House is just that, a party that goes for usually 46- hours where people drop in, visit, eat, drink, leave at their leisure. A Housewarming is a party showing off a new home to friends and family and usually happens during the first year. If you call it that, expect some presents. 2. Of course you can have your own Housewarming as long as you understand that that term is sort of asking for a gift and some people feel that is tacky. You must decide for yourself.


Pam asked:

>Comments = How soon can I have a housewarming party after moving in?

The Etiquette Queen says:

As soon as you would like to have it. There are no rules as to time, only convenience and desire.


Amy Ferrell asked:

My husband and i just built a new home. Although we're over 30 >and are established in our lifestyle, we want to have a house warming >party and register for gifts. I don't want people to think that we're >being greedy or selfish. Is this inappropriate? Should we just have a >party and not worry about gifts? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Just have a party and don't worry about gifts. Some of your friends and/or relatives will bring you something and just accept it graciously and open it after the party.


Tanya Jett asked:

My friend wants to give me a house-warming party for our >first home. Should the party be held in my home or in hers?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Easiest quest I ever had, your house of course. the purpose of a housewarming is to show your friends and family your new home.


Sue Lindquist asked:

I am giving a housewarming party for my >daughter. I am assuming people will bring >gifts. Should she open them at the party, >or open them later? of course she will >send a thank-you card either way. >thanks

The Etiquette Queen says:

Open them later. Just have a table or area near the door to put them on.


Michelle asked:

My boyfriend of nearly 1 1/2 years recently purchased his >first home and, needless to say, is in need of more than a few >things. I would love to throw him a housewarming party, but some >friends and relatives have been giving me negative feed-back. They >seem to think that those I invite (family and close friends) will >think that I'm doing it not only for him, but for myself as well >(marriage isn't even in the plans right now). Your thoughts?

The Etiquette Queen says:

First of all, what does he think? Is he for or against your hosting this housewarming? Does he want to give it himself and just have you help? these are important issues. If you both decide to go ahead, it doesn't matter what others think. If they like you both, they should not be judgmental.


Karen asked:

I am planning a housewarming party. I have met my >neighbors (directly across the street, on the right and on the >left)The neighbors across the street brought a cake an introduced >themselves, the others have just introduced themselves in passing or >while were both doing yard work and we have small talk every now and >again. This has been the extend of our conversations for the past 3 >months. >Should I or do i need to invite them to the housewarming party? >And do you have any suggestions on theme's, etc. for the party >something more than just standing around. (I have a big fenced in >backyard - no pool)- any suggestions?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Only invite those who you consider friends you would invite to any party. As for a theme, look at party411.com/themes for some ideas.


Tab asked:

Who plan for a house warming?

The Etiquette Queen says:

The people who moved into the new residence.


kim asked:

My husband and I purchased our first home a little over a >year ago. Of course family and friends have seen the house but we >never had an actual housewarming party. We didn't initially have it >because we hadn't purchased furniture for many rooms of the home. We >now have furniture in place and would like to have everyone over. Is >it too late to have a housewarming party and how would you word it >on an invitation?

The Etiquette Queen says:

It's really too late to call it a housewarming. Why not just have a "party" with a theme. Set up different food stations in different rooms so that your guests will see the whole house. Hint - do-it-yourself sundaes in the kitchen. Check party411.com/themes for ideas.


Stephanie Dunn-Hunt asked:

Should you put something on a housewarming invitation that >expresses that you don't want children there? It won't be picnic or >cookout style housewarming? Also, should you tell people specific things >you'd like? Should you mention your favorite stores? Color schemes? Themes >for different rooms of the house? FYI - Married, no kids(yet), lots of >main household stuff, etc. > >

The Etiquette Queen says:

First of all, you can put adults only on an invitation, thereby telling all not to bring the kids. If someone asks, you can tell them what you would like or where you like to shop but you can't ask. Just hope that whatever someone brings you, you either like or know where to exchange it.


renee asked:

I have two wants...one, to have folks over to see my new >house...and I really want to have a fun party...but not necessarily have >everyone at the fun party who comes to house warming. But my hubby is a >bit of a grouch, so I'll need to do whatever all on the same day. So...is >it too much to try this? >Welcome to the Callaways new digs > >Open House from 11am to 3pm >(fun, outdoor games, swimming & snacks) >BBQ & Poker game 7pm til ??? >Hope to see you...stay for a minute, stay all day, bring the kids...or >NOT! But do stop by. >RSVP to Renee by xxxxx. > >As you can see,,,I've no idea what's proper or tasteful, but want to begin >learning somewhere. Any advise, suggestions, rules I can follow re: the >open house part? Thanks. >

The Etiquette Queen says:

You are trying to do too much. Choose what you want, a party or a housewarming and do that. You can do both at the same time but not separately on one day. Why bother? Have the open housewarming party and be done with it. Plenty of time for other occasions. Do the pool, daytime thing. More appropriate for first party.


Tina asked:

I'm throwing my first housewarming party for me and my husband. >We just recently purchased our first home. I am looking for do's and >don'ts for the party I am also looking for party ideas. I need to keep it >casual, simple and inexpensive. Any ideas? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Check out party411.com/themes for ideas and party411.com/gameguide for fun ideas. Also look at the new products on the home page for some ideas. There are no real dos and don'ts for a housewarming. You might want to set up; stations in various rooms to keep the flow moving and also so that your guests can see the house. One good idea for the kitchen, set up a do-it-yourself ice cream bar with a few flavors (already in balls) and lots of toppings. Any spillage will be easy to clean.


Stephanie Tucker asked:

I will be moving into a brand new home soon. >I sold or gave away most of my home >furnishings from my last house after my >divorce. >I am planning a house party and intend to >register at Beb, Bath & Beyond. The only >issue is how to send a tasteful invitation >to my guest, without offending or making >them feel obligated to bring a gift. > >Please advise. >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Just send a regular party invitation and indicate how much you want them to come see your new place. Those that want to get you a gift, will anyway and some might even ask. Just hope that if you get something you don't want, you can exchange it.


stacie asked:

I have purchased my first home. I have some things to fill my >2-story home, but still need moe items (i.e.: kitchenware, towels) I want to >have a housewarming/open house party. I will be throwing it myself, Is >this okay? As well I would like to mention on the invite where >I am registered. How exactly do I word this phrase regarding being >registered and needing these essential items? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Of course, it's alright to have your own party. Funny thing about housewarming. Some people automatically bring something and others don't even think of it. But if you send a clever invite, you might do better. If you have a Bed, Bath and Beyond or some shop like that, use that in your invite. It's a big hint and even if you don't like what they bring, you can return and exchange it. Or just spread the word verbally. Just don't say it straight out, tacky.


Andy Powell asked:

I have heard of a tradition of bringing salt, sugar, and flour >as a symbol of good luck to friends and/or family who have just moved into >a new home. Could you give me the origins of this custom and the symbolic >meaning. Do you know where I can get more information on this? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

I don't know the exact answers but I know where to find them. If you go to the library and talk to the librarian, he or she can help you locate what you want to know. Or, you could try some random searches on the web using new home customs or symbols of new home as a starting point.


Undine Hunt-Roberts asked:

Hello, My husband and I just purchased our first home. My >sister in-law is planning our housewarming party for us. Is it improper >for us to register for gifts? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

In the old days, as long ago as a few years, no one registered for housewarming gifts. The presumption was that some would get a gift and some wouldn't. But times change so go ahead.


Nichole Murray asked:

I am throwing a house warming party for a dear friend of mine. >She is moving into a new home. Is it appropriate to have the party in a >neutral location (like a restaurant) that is convenient for everyone? Or >should we use the new home as the neutral location? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

Usually a house warming is held in the house being warmed. That way, everyone can see the new "digs" and get an idea of the taste of the homeowner, in case they want to send a gift.


Bridgette asked:

My husband and I purchased our first home in Dec 98. We are >still "putting it together" and were wondering who long could we wait >before it being too late for a housewarming party?? >

The Etiquette Queen says:

It's never too late for a party but have some fun with the lateness. You could call it "The house is already warm but we need more heat" or something like that.


K. Hanserd asked:

How do I word my house warming invitations to say that I don't need any gifts? I want to have a money tree or have monetary gifts.

The Etiquette Queen says:

You could say, humorously, that money doesn't go on trees and so you're having one at the party for people to fill in... or you could say, "no gifts, but donations welcome!" However, you're treading on thin ice since many people feel that asking for $$ is inappropriate.


carla asked:

Is it appropriate for the new tenants to register for a house-warming gifts?

The Etiquette Queen says:

No, sorry, I wish it was. Wouldn't that save a lot of unwanted crap??


Renee asked:

Housewarming Party Ideas.... Need help with ideas for a housewarming party for brother and sister in law... Games, Invitations, Food, Etc....... Can you help?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Do some type of "clue" or "scavenger hunt" game that gets people into every room in the house since it is a housewarming. Come up with some great gag gifts for people who win. You may want to put two couples on a team. It makes for great fun. The food should be "finger" type foods so that people can move around and not have to sit in one place. At your local party stores, there are great housewarming invitations.


Erica asked:

MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE JUST PURCHASED OUR FIRST HOME AND WANTED TO SHOW IT OFF TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES. WE JUST GOT MARRIED 7 MONTHS AGO AND WONDERED IF IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO MAKE IT A "HOUSEWARMING" SEEING THAT MOST OF THE GUESTS JUST GAVE US WEDDING GIFTS.

The Etiquette Queen says:

If you are worried, Erica, send out the invitations to the housewarming and on the bottom put "no gifts." That way, your guests will not feel they are expected to bring anything. A little softer way to put it is..."your presence is the only present we need!"


Christine asked:

I would like to throw a welcome home party for my husband who will soon be returning from a nine-month tour of duty in Bosnia. While he was away, I moved us into a new home that we purchased just days before he deployed. Therefore, I would like to have a housewarming party along with the welcome home party. Is this acceptable even though I have been living (alone) in the house for the past five months? What type of party would be appropriate for the combined festivities (i.e. dinner, cocktail, open house)?

The Etiquette Queen says:

What a great idea! You can absolutely have a housewarming/homecoming party. Don't even hesitate...I would stick to an open house and serve hors d'ouerves and desserts. That way people can move through your home easily, nibbling, drinking and talking with other guests (and, of course, your husband). If you need further help with an invitation, decor, etc., let the party girl know!


Michele asked:

I'm giving a house warming party for a long time friend. Is it proper to put her home colors and schemes in the invitations so that the guests know what colors are needed to match the home?

The Etiquette Queen says:

That's a great thing to do. And you can word it in such a way that it doesn't offend anyone. Something like "just in case you wanted to know--Jack and Jill's color scheme is chartreuse"... on the other hand, know that some people will feel like you are indeed telling them to bring a gift... and they won't like that. it's a no win!


Marlene King asked:

I am hosting my own housewarming. I just can not decide when it should take place. My husband and I just purchased a new home, and we want to show it off to all of our friends. The problem is that Thanksgiving is in two days, and Christmas is right around the corner! When exactly am I supposed to have this party.

The Etiquette Queen says:

Why not have it has a Christmas open house and housewarming. Makes sense to me! Many people host open houses over the holiday so it's perfect timing. Congrats and good luck.


Su asked:

I had a house warming party ten years ago when I bought my house. Now we've renovated. It's basically a new home since we've added a second floor and completely remodeled the first floor, ripped out walls and put in new ones. Should the party we're having to show all the results be considered a house warming?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Well, it's not really a housewarming. On the other hand, you can have great fun with it and have a "renovated housewarming party." I really like that. Nothing wrong with it and certainly your friends will understand your desire to invite them to see the "new" house! Have fun.


Lyndell McCoy asked:

Is it proper etiquette to host your own house warming. A friend of mine purchased a new house. I thought it would be a good idea for another mutual friend and I to give the house warming. But our other mutual friend advised that the friend who purchased the house was having her own house warming party! Sounds rude to me, please let us know! Thanks!

The Etiquette Queen says:

I understand what you mean; however, as long as they aren't "asking" for gifts, it's okay to have an open house as such. If you only knew how many questions I get about housewarmings. And many people who are hosting their own ask me how to let their friends know what they want!! Unbelievable. On the other hand, showing off your home to your friends and not expecting gifts is a whole other story. Why not offer to help with the refreshments? Forgive them, they are probably so excited they just don't know what to do!!


Mandy asked:

My husband and I have just purchased our very first home. My mom would like to give us a housewarming party (with my help). She says it should be an "open house" type thing. My husband and I would rather have something resembling an actual party (nothing too overblown of course). What's the appropriate housewarming party suppose to be?

The Etiquette Queen says:

As far as I am concerned, a housewarming party is an actual party. The only difference is that your guests bring gifts because they know it's a housewarming. In regard to having an open house, if you want people to stay and eat, drink and be merry--you're better off having set times and not an open house where they just deliver good wishes!


Phyllis asked:

What are the traditional housewarming gifts?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Let me see. I didn't know there was such a thing as a traditional housewarming gift.  Hmmm. I know that there are superstitions about salt, bread and sugar (see the archives)...but as far as "tradition"--forget it. Get them what you think they need! A plant, new doorknobs, whatever!


Debbie W. asked:

Is it proper etiquette to host your own house warming party?

The Etiquette Queen says:

Absolutely. If you feel uncomfortable about it, ask your friends to come sans gifts! But if I were you, I'd let them bring whatever they want! Good luck! And live and be well in your new home!

 

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