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07.20.2006

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a warm welcome 
throw a summer housewarming party

by Dana Currier
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Many people associate housewarming parties with gifts, which is silly I think, but if you convey to your guests the relaxed theme of the event, they probably won't feel the need to bring anything more than a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer. Still, if you are invited to a housewarming party and you want to bring something more creative, I have two suggestions. The first is laundry detergent. It may seem ridiculous, but when someone gave us a bottle wrapped up in a leopard-print bow at our party last summer, I was so grateful. I hadn't even thought to buy any yet and the hamper was full to bursting at the time. Detergent is something you don't think to buy when you're moving, and it's one of those essential things you don't realize you've forgotten until you've run through every last pair of socks and underwear.

The second gift suggestion is perhaps a step up on the price ladder but still hardly qualifies as a major expense. Often people who have just moved have had to sacrifice some of those personal possessions that are fun to have around but were deemed unworthy of precious moving van real estate. Board games often fall into this category. The ones you have around the house at the time you move tend to take up tons of space but are often missing pieces and have parts that are bent and broken, so they wind up in the trash. Once you move into your new place, you're ready to start a new board game collection -- which makes the latest edition of Cranium or Trivial Pursuit an excellent gift for a housewarming party. Plus, if the party turns out to be really lame, the host can always bust open the box and declare it time to christen the apartment with a round of America's favorite trivia game.

Attending housewarming parties is fun, but the best thing about throwing one for yourself is that you get to show off your fabulously appointed new digs to your friends and (new) neighbors. After those long days of packing and unpacking, regain your sanity by keeping things at your party low-key but fun and festive. Try to relax and enjoy the results of your long, sweaty hours of labor. Your guests are guaranteed to have a good time and to help you warm your new place right up.

o

Dana Currier is a grad student studying French literature in Chicago. She may have no promising career prospects but in the meantime she does get to spend her days reading, writing and planning her next party.

more by dana currier: 
irish soda bread | dorm life take two

check out these related articles:
etiquette schmettiquette: housewarming how-tos | light my fire host a bbqend of the season bbq | let's take it outside outdoor living 

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