Q: Recently, my sister-in-law purchased a new home (her fourth) and when sending out invitations for her daughter’s birthday party, included a gift registry for ‘housewarming items’ at a large retail store. I found this to be tacky and it certainly cheated my niece of her birthday celebration as quite a few family and friends were offended and did not attend. When is it appropriate to give a housewarming party or gift?
A: The rules of a housewarming party are that it is held by the new homeowners (or renters) to welcome friends and family to their new home, give tours and receive compliments, serve food, and have friends help “warm” their residence with their caring and affection. Attendees may or may not bring gifts. Usually guests do, most often a bottle of wine, a plant, a loaf of bread, or other food item. Housewarming gifts are usually small tokens, not major items; this is, after all, not a wedding. Mention of gifts is not made on the invitation and one does not register for gifts.