Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

My bad hostessing oops!

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BittyB:
I have a confession.  DF and I bought a house several months ago and we wanted to throw a party to show off the house and to also specifically celebrate with folks that helped us out fixing it up (we spent about 2 months on the house, nights and long, long days on weekends, and a bunch of our friends came up one of the first weekends and helped all day).  We sent out email invites (casual party) telling folks the details, bring  your SO/spouse and kids if you want, times, and what we were serving (and mentioned to just bring yourselves, so they didn't think it was potluck).

Here is the bad part...  almost everyone showed up with a housewarming gift!  I was surprised, gracious, thankful and everything else to the guests who brought stuff, but I felt so bad afterwards.  I think because we called it a housewarming our friends felt the need to bring a gift.  So I think my faux pas was calling it a "housewarming", which has social connotations.  While I know it's up to the giver to decide if they can or want to buy a gift, and all that (and therefore not my business), I still feel like I inadvertantly asked for gifts by naming the event a housewarming instead of just a party.  Even just recalling this I am SO embarassed.   :-[

Lisbeth:
Your friends might have decided to bring gifts no matter what you called the party because they knew that you were fixing up the house and it was your first time hosting there since buying it.

I don't think you committed a faux pas by calling the party a "housewarming."  You really can't control whether or not other people perceive that as a gifts-expected occasion (I personally think it's a hostess-gift occasion and would bring that type of gift to one myself).  So I think you didn't put yourself on any etiquette hook.

green ferns:
If I'd been one of your friends who'd been helping, I would have brought a gift no matter what you'd called the party.  It's not like my friends are buying houses every day... and if I cared enough to put all that time in, I totally would want to bring a housewarming gift. Even if you hadn't given a party at all!

Also, I think of "housewarming" as the warmth of lots of good feelings (insert sound of sap here  ;)). I don't really think of them as gift-obligatory events--or maybe I should say "gift-grabbing" events. And, you kind of have to give a housewarming for yourself, because it's YOUR HOUSE you're "warming" after all...it's not as if someone else can do it for you at their house...

So, no, I don't think you were a bad hostess. Especially since you graciously accepted the gifts, even though you weren't expecting them!

And I'm SURE you got all the thank-you notes out within 24 hours... ;)  :D

BurninDinner:
Oh chill out.  Your friends love you and want to say they are proud of you!  Worse things have happened.   ;)

Sibby:
Don't be silly.  First off anyone with any tact brings something to a party - a hostess gift, a card, a case of beer, dessert, etc.  So since you had already outlined the menu and since it's a new house it only stands logical you would get housewarming-type gifts.  Don't be embarrassed - be proud you have such thoughtful & polite friends.

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