• March 22, 2018, 10:37:51 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: House warming party, is this acceptable?  (Read 19640 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 341
Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2009, 06:10:08 PM »
In my circle house warming parties are not gift giving occasions.  Someone may feel the urge to bring a token present - a bottle of wine would be the most substantial thing I've ever seen given - but it's given discreetly and is rarely even wrapped.  People have house warmings when they move into a new house or apartment, whether they're renting for just a year or if they're first time home owners. 

House warmings are basically an excuse for a party and are very popular amongst guests.  But that's just my circle.


  • Member
  • Posts: 15855
Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2009, 06:16:36 PM »
Among my circle of friends, we have only given (and been given) gifts for our very first house purchases.  Subsequent moves/purchases may involve some kind of party or get together, but nobody gives presents unless it's your first purchase.  No one I know has housewarmings when they move into a new apartment or rental, but then, I don't really know that many people.  :)


  • Member
  • Posts: 33954
Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2009, 10:00:18 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.  

Given how Miss Manners' books are structured (they are mostly a cut-and-paste from her columns, in which she addresses quite specific letters), and what I remember about that letter (don't have my copy with me), she was addressing someone who wanted someone ELSE to throw the party, or who wanted to throw it for the homeowner.

So I would think that "owner of the home" to be more of a language to address the specific situation she was presented with and NOT necessarily her final word on whether it is OK to throw a housewarming party if you rent.

Considering that she goes on to say that the purpose of the party is to warm your home by OFFERING your hospitality, and that gifts aren't required, I would think that it would be safer to say either a) that she doesn't specify; or b) that it's not a stretch to think that a renter might want to "warm" their home by offering a party to their friends.

For our OP, I think her "audience" is literally (no, not figuratively, truly "literally") telling her that they would not be offended.

I like her idea of having a well-choreographed dinner, and she can use the term "housewarming" if she wishes.

Also, "open house" is BY DEFINITION a time period in which people can arrive and leave as they wish, a "housewarming" isn't particularly, and one's invitation can say, "housewarming, 6pm to 8:30; dinner at 6:30" or ANYTHING.


  • Member
  • Posts: 2608
    • My dragons!
Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2009, 10:41:09 PM »
I agree with Toots.

I had a party when I got my first solo apartment.  I think I called it the "Kiara's on her own, come have fun party" or some such.  A few people brought wine, one brought a plant.  I was at the apartment for six years, so I was pretty settled.

I threw another party when I bought my house two years ago.  I didn't call it a housewarming, but it was clear that it was to show off the place.  More of a "Hey, I bought a house and feel like seeing you people, so come over!"  Gifts were warmly accepted, but NOT required.  By me, anyway. 
Rogers/Barnes 2016 - With You 'til the End of the Line.

Chocolate Cake

  • Member
  • Posts: 5138
Re: House warming party, is this acceptable?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2009, 10:07:30 AM »
If Miss Manners had been presented a letter from a renter stating that she wanted to hold a housewarming party, I'll place my bet that Miss Manners would advise her to call the event a "dinner party" or an "open house" party instead.  I surmise that Miss Manners would recommend reserving the "housewarming" for such a time when the hostess has purchased a dwelling simply because the "housewarming" term is indicative of an out-of-the ordinary, special, gift-giving event.   If the definition of housewarming is diluted to the point where the term is used by every renter hosting a party every time he or she takes on a new lease, it loses it's meaning as an occasion to celebrate home ownership -- which is quite an accomplishment to be celebrated unlike that of someone who has simply signed a new rental agreement.