Author Topic: House warming party, is this acceptable?  (Read 8064 times)

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Silence

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House warming party, is this acceptable?
« on: April 05, 2009, 08:52:02 AM »
DF and I recently moved to new jobs and a new home. We didn't purchase this home, it's a part of our salary packages.

His family and close friends are clamoring for us to have a house warming party.

Is it acceptable for us to have a house warming party even though we didn't actually buy a house?

And I've *never* formally hosted anything, so a little help in that respect would be welcome as well. :3

Taralala

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 11:56:03 AM »
I've had house warmings for most of the apartments I've lived in, and I don't see a problem with it.  These have been casual evenings with drinks and finger foods.  They have never been gift-giving occasions.

I've noticed reading this forum that different people have different ideas about what a house warming entails.  I think of a house warming as a party to welcome friends into a new home, but I think in some places house warmings are treated more like "house showers" and gifts are given.  If this is traditional where you are and you don't want or expect gifts, you may want to avoid the term "house warming" and simply invite people over for a get together.

BittyB

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 12:24:02 PM »
I probably would avoid having a housewarming party since usually those are after you buy a house (and I think I've only seen them after buying one's first house, but I don't know).  I don't think you'd be particularly WRONG to have one, it just seems a little odd to me.  When we moved into a new apartment or house that we rented, we just had a BBQ or other get together.

Also, housewarmings are apparently gift-giving occassions.  I didn't realize this when we had one after we bought our house, but almost everyone brought a gift.  I think this is why usually I only see the term "housewarming party" when you have bought the house - the idea that they can be treated like a "house shower" is actually fairly accurate in practice.

MDefarge

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 12:29:53 PM »
I see nothing wrong with having a party - I'd term it "Open House" and keep it casual say 1-4pm one afternoon.

Chocolate Cake

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 02:27:33 PM »
Agreed.  A housewarming is to a newly purchased home as a baby shower is to a pregnant woman.  If you want to have a party in your new place, have one, but don't call it a house-warming as the term is indicative that the guests are to bring a gift to "warm" the home.   

penelope2017

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 02:49:58 PM »
Agreed.  A housewarming is to a newly purchased home as a baby shower is to a pregnant woman.  If you want to have a party in your new place, have one, but don't call it a house-warming as the term is indicative that the guests are to bring a gift to "warm" the home.   

Just wondering if you're saying that housewarmings are only for purchased homes rather than moving into a new rental?

I tend to agree but there was a thread a while back where a lot of apartment dwellers disagreed.

Chocolate Cake

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 02:58:51 PM »
Just wondering if you're saying that housewarmings are only for purchased homes rather than moving into a new rental?

Because the term "housewarming" is analogous with "bring a gift" in many circles, I would only use that term to describe a party that celebrates new home ownership as opposed to "I rented a new place, come see it".   And, a "housewarming" party should apply only to the first purchased home (not every successive home purchase afterwards).

I think that a party to show off a new residence that is either a rental or is not the person's first "owned" home, shouldn't be called a housewarming, but maybe something more benign like "open house".  Or, the person should just hold a party without calling it anything but a party.

Lisbeth

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 03:03:25 PM »
Just wondering if you're saying that housewarmings are only for purchased homes rather than moving into a new rental?

Because the term "housewarming" is analogous with "bring a gift" in many circles, I would only use that term to describe a party that celebrates new home ownership as opposed to "I rented a new place, come see it".   And, a "housewarming" party should apply only to the first purchased home (not every successive home purchase afterwards).

I think that a party to show off a new residence that is either a rental or is not the person's first "owned" home, shouldn't be called a housewarming, but maybe something more benign like "open house".  Or, the person should just hold a party without calling it anything but a party.

I disagree that the new home has to be owned for the party to qualify as a "housewarming."  Regardless of what is thought in some circles, a housewarming is not a gift party like a shower.  If guests want to give gifts, that's their right and prerogative; if not, that's also their right and prerogative.  An invitation to a housewarming is not an invoice or a "gimme, gimme" but a "come celebrate something nice that is happening in my life with me."  And the financial arrangements of the owner or tenant are none of the guests' business anyway.
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Kaylee

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 03:06:41 PM »
I don't feel at all strongly about not calling it a housewarming, but calling it an open house works just as well and if you're on the fence about the term, go with that.  People will probably still bring little things for your new home, but so be it.  If you're not likely to live in this house for an extended period of time, I'd definitely call it an open house.

Hosting an open house is usually far more casual than hosting a dinner party.  Both drinks and food are usually buffet-style; I am generally adamantly against using disposable plates for indoor hosting but for an open house, I don't really mind it.  I do think it's nice to provide real cutlery and glassware even if you do use disposable plates, just because it tends to be practically impossible to cut things with plastic knives and forks.  If you plan the food so as not to need much cutting, like sandwiches people can build themselves, you won't need much.

Both an open house and a housewarming imply that people can arrive at different times and that there may be lots of guests coming and going--it is not rude to arrive an hour after the designated start time, but when you send the invitations, you send them with a timeframe (4:00 to 8:00 PM) whereas with a regular dinner you would indicate only the start time.  (Be aware that the end time tends to be an hour or so later than you actually state.   ;))  If it works in your house, I find the best way to keep people mingling and not congregating in any one area is to have different 'stations'--drinks in the kitchen, food in another area, desserts somewhere else.  

Most people bring small items of food--the truly traditional gift for a housewarming is bread and salt--but wine is popular around here, and some people will bring flowers or small household items.  You don't create a wish list or a registry for a housewarming.  You don't have to open anything that's wrapped on the spot, and you should send thank-yous for any gifts you receive.  If people bring items that are suitable for adding to the buffet, you can do that, but most people bring non-perishable items that are really meant for you to enjoy later.

Do not feel pressured to lead house tours, and it is perfectly acceptable to have some rooms off-limits.  Yes, the idea is to welcome guests to your new home, but you're not trying to sell it, so you don't have to have open access to all areas of the house.

If you have an outdoor area and it's a nice day/night, having seating outside or grilling things is also a nice idea.

penelope2017

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2009, 03:07:35 PM »
Just wondering if you're saying that housewarmings are only for purchased homes rather than moving into a new rental?

Because the term "housewarming" is analogous with "bring a gift" in many circles, I would only use that term to describe a party that celebrates new home ownership as opposed to "I rented a new place, come see it".   And, a "housewarming" party should apply only to the first purchased home (not every successive home purchase afterwards).

I think that a party to show off a new residence that is either a rental or is not the person's first "owned" home, shouldn't be called a housewarming, but maybe something more benign like "open house".  Or, the person should just hold a party without calling it anything but a party.

I agree with you.

Chocolate Cake

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 03:14:55 PM »
I disagree that the new home has to be owned for the party to qualify as a "housewarming." 

Let's let Miss Manners (Judith Martin) be the final word on this matter.  

In her book Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior: The Ultimate Handbook on Modern Etiquette, she states on pg. 438 "A housewarming is correctly given by the people who own the house"  and "Not all open house parties are housewarmings".    

And, of course it is the guest's perogative to bring a gift ....or not, just as it is their perogative to bring a gift or not to a baby shower.  Both are celebrations. However, it's not common for someone to come to a baby shower empty handed.   In many circles, it would be equally as odd for a guest to attend a "housewarming" without a gift to help "warm" the house.  

Silence

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2009, 03:16:59 PM »
I was wanting to do something slightly more formal then an open house. Like have a set arrival time and lunch time. I'd thought of doing steak or chicken (guest choice), baked potatoes, corn on the cob and a nice avacodo & cucumber salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. Three of those things can be grilled, and as it'll be quite hot here at the time we'd like to have this party, I'd rather *not* turn on the oven. I also need to appeal to the fact that I'm a vegetarian and everyone else is well, not and thinks I'm weird (minus DF of course).


TootsNYC

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2009, 03:35:59 PM »
You have guests clamoring for you to have a housewarming party? I think that tells you that your immediate circle wouldn't be offended.

I personally think housewarming parties are fine for places you rent. I would hope my friends weren't having them every year or so, so if you thought you were going to move in a year, then I wouldn't suggest you have it.

But if you feel that you are settled for the next several years, then have a party.

If my friends were to have a housewarming every year bcs they moved every time their lease was up, then I wouldn't be bringing much of a gift to the second, third, etc. Or I might not attend.

Whether they rented or not, I would take their throwing of a party as a sign that they felt settled for the next several years. And I do think it might be a bit like a shower--you don't get a new one every year, necessarily, unless it's not much of a gift-giving occasion. (though I don't think the limit is "one per lifetime," or something)

If I knew they were renting, I wouldn't be bringing them much in the way of permanence.  I'd bring jam, or wine, or a $15 bottle of balsamic vinegar. If I knew they had purchased the home, I'd perhaps bring them a dimmer switch, or a foot pedal for their undersink trash can--something they could "install." But I wouldn't begrudge them that gift at any time.

MDefarge

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 04:24:55 PM »
I was wanting to do something slightly more formal then an open house. Like have a set arrival time and lunch time. I'd thought of doing steak or chicken (guest choice), baked potatoes, corn on the cob and a nice avacodo & cucumber salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. Three of those things can be grilled, and as it'll be quite hot here at the time we'd like to have this party, I'd rather *not* turn on the oven. I also need to appeal to the fact that I'm a vegetarian and everyone else is well, not and thinks I'm weird (minus DF of course).



To me this sounds more like a dinner party than an Open house/housewarming.  I think you could just have it be a dinner party that happens to also be a chance for everyone to see the new house.

Ant V

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Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2009, 05:33:52 PM »
You can always have a party.  Call it an Open House if you are worried about wording.