A Discussion On House Warming Gift Etiquette

By: Brad Coy

Whenever you move into a new home, it is always a tremendously exciting experience, no matter how many times you’ve done so. As a result, when you unpack and whether you decorate the entire space yourself or get an acclaimed company like Zenstone to fit out your marble floor and worktop, it is a huge accomplishment and you will probably want to show your family and friends. One great way to do so is to have a housewarming party and it is a lovely celebration both for you and your new home. However, there are many etiquette rules which can help you to handle gifts whether you’re the person hosting the housewarming party or if you’re attending one.

Invitations & Gifts

It is important that you send out invitations to your housewarming party, at least 2 or 3 weeks before the date of the party. It is important that you don’t mention the need for any gifts on the invitation unless you want to say that you don’t want any gifts. The main exception to this rule is if the housewarming is being done by a person who is not living in the home.

When sending out invitations, you can send them through the normal mail or you can opt for email. It is important that you also include the address of your new home as well as a specific date and time as well as include a map if necessary.

Host Etiquette

There are many people who typically register for gifts at popular stores such as Target, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond etc. However, as mentioned above, etiquette advisors are quite divided on whether doing this is appropriate or not.

You should not expect or even openly ask for gifts. Only if a guest to your party asks about the colour scheme of your home or any gift registration details, then you are free to tell them.

Next, according to good etiquette, it is essential that you don’t open any gifts you receive, at the party. It is bad etiquette to open your gifts since there will be guests who did not bring a gift and it will make them feel uncomfortable. The entire reason why you have a housewarming party is so that you can welcome your loved ones into your new home and not ask for gifts.

After the party, when you do open your gifts, you should always take a note of who gives you what. The reason is so that you can write a short thank you note for the gift that they gave you. You should also thank them for coming on that note as well.

Etiquette for Guests

As a guest, you should definitely bring a gift to any housewarming party. It doesn’t have to be a big or lavish gift but rather something simple or meaningful. When you enter the home, you should add the gift to the table with the other gifts or you can simply give it to the host. You should never seek to bring attention to the fact that you brought a gift since there will probably be other guests who did not bring one.

If you spent between £10 – £20 on the gift, this is actually not uncommon. There are many things you can get for this price range such as a bottle of wine, kitchen knives, a houseplant, cookies, a household appliance etc. In the event that you’re not sure what you should get, then a simple gift card is sufficient. Even if the invitation to the housewarming party says not to bring any gifts, you should still give the host a gift card.

What Are the Best Housewarming Gifts?

  • As mentioned before, gift cards are great. Gift cards from stores such as Ace Hardware, Target, Walmart, Lowes etc are a good idea.
  • Picture frames that are personalised with a monogram. If you know the style of the host, then you can get decorated picture frames.
  • Personalised glass sets.
  • A good bottle of wine or other drink if the hosts don’t drink alcohol. However, please note that a pack of beer is not acceptable.
  • Dishes are also a great gift such as specialty sets like cheese boards. It is important that you choose neutral colours unless you are sure of your hosts’ tastes and colour scheme.

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