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etiquette schmetiquette: 
ousewarming how-tos
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Cool -- so if I get invited to a housewarming, I donít have to bring a gift?
Etiquette sticklers would say that a housewarming demands a gift, while an open house doesnít, but my feeling is that gifts should never be mandatory. Still Ė and listen up now -- unless an invitation specifically specifies no gifts, itís never a bad idea to arrive bearing a little something. Yes, yes, I know I just finished advising the host/ess never to expect gifts, but thatís exactly why the kindness of your gesture will be so dearly appreciated. While itís true (I hope) that no oneís going to de-friend you should you arrive with nothing more to offer than your wonderful presence, showing up with a gift will give you serious brownie points. Itís not necessary, but it IS nice.

help! how do I know what to bring?
Gifts donít have to be extravagant Ė and in fact probably ought not be, lest they make the recipient and other guests uncomfortable -- but they should, most certainly, be thoughtful. Think about what things your friend might be able to use in his/her new abode, and select a gift accordingly.

classic housewarming gifts Ö
edibles and potables: wine, good liquor, homemade goodies, beautiful fresh veggies/fruit from your garden

houseplant preferably popped in a pretty container rather than the beat-up black plastic pot in which it came. Or a cute watering can to nourish all those houseplants that the new homeowner(dweller) is sure to receive at the party.

bar accessories: bottle opener, corkscrew, swizzle sticks, cocktail shaker

x-ray fish opener

The x-ray fish bottle opener (above), available at chiasso for $18, makes an adorable housewarming gift. Browse digsShop for more ideas.

for the new homeowner Ö
gift certificate to a home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes. Because theyíll be spending lots of time and buckeroos there. Trust me.

if the house has a yard Ö
seed packets, seedlings, gardening tools, bird feeder, croquet set

check out these related articles:
etiquette schmetiquette | the honor of your presence
the guest's guide to weddingsbe our guest how to be everyone's favorite houseguest | confessions of a first-time homeowner

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