If you have just moved into a new house, holding a housewarming party gets all your friends to come over so you can show off your new place. In addition, if you need new things to help decorate and outfit your home, holding a housewarming party can help you obtain some gifts. However, because people sometimes consider it tacky to ask for presents on an invitation, walk around the issue carefully to avoid offending people. After all, your friendships are more important than a few hand towels or scented candles.
Ask a friend to host the housewarming party for you. This doesn't mean that the party would be held at the friends house because, after all, it's about your house. However, it does make it more appropriate to mention gifts on the invitations if someone else is creating and sending them.
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Refer to the party as a "housewarming" party rather than an "open house" on invitations and when mentioning the event to people. According to Digs Magazine, people tend to think of housewarming parties as gift occasions, whereas open houses are perceived as a social event and a time to show off the house.
Include a clever and roundabout request for gifts in the invitation by writing a poem. Guests are more likely to think it's appropriate rather than being offended. For example, write, "The Smith's are all moved in, but it's looking a little dreary; Bring a little something to help make it look cheery!"
Include an RSVP request and phone number on the invitation. When people call to RSVP, they may ask what sort of gift they could bring, in which case it is perfectly appropriate to mention that you are hoping for a certain type of item or that you are registered at a particular store, according to The Denver Post.
When in doubt, don't mention gifts on the housewarming party invitation at all. Especially if you are inviting older people or have etiquette-conscious friends, asking for gifts could be highly offensive. Never open gifts at the housewarming party. This could make people who did not bring gifts feel awkward. Follow-up with handwritten and personalized thank you notes a week or two after the party for everybody who brought a gift.