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NWR: Apartment Complex Party

So, I am annoyed by this, for some reason.  It is very possible I am overreacting.  I think my husband thinks I am.

My apartment manager and his wife are "hosting" a Christmas Party.  They have done this each year, and it is nice of them.

This year, however, thay have decided that they want to do a gift exchange and a potluck...despite the fact that they say, on the invitation, that they are"hosting a Christmas party for the complex".  I guess this is not an issue...and this is actually not where I am annoyed.

It specifically says on the invitation "1 appetizer or desert dish per person, not per couple or household...please call to confirm with the host that what you are bringing works with the menu.  And 1 $5-10 wrapped gift, per person not per couple, for the gift exchange, please contact them for the list of gifts that we can choose from"

Correct me if I am wrong...but if I am bringing a dish and a wrapped gift, and my husband is as well, aren't they going a little far to say they need food and gift approval?  (I htink this just got to me as my own wedding made me obsessed with etiquette and the "hosting" of an event does not imply that you are reguiring your gifts bring food and gifts off of a prepared list)

Feel free to tell me I am being completely ridiculous...but there is something about this that has climbed onto my "that irritates me" bone and won't let go.
Anniversary

Re: NWR: Apartment Complex Party

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    The potluck thing wouldn't bother me... I mean, they shouldn't say they are "hosting" it. There is better wording they could have used. But 1 dish per person? That bothers me. Especially since I have to have it approved.

    A minimum dollar amount for a gift exchange? That's just ballsy.

    please contact them for the list of gifts that we can choose from
    I'm confused by this. Contact whom with what?

    I would probably go for the lulz or get a headache that night.

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    Totally with you on this! I'd be put off by that too. They are certainly NOT hosting this party if bringing food is mandatory. And instructing everyone to bring gifts is just ridiculous. Adults can socialize and mingle just fine without a holiday gift exchange. 

    Besides, I think forced gift exchanges and "Secret Santas" among socially random groups (i.e. just because you live in the same complex or work for the same company, etc. doesn't mean you "know" these people nor should you be required to get them gifts). 

    Sorry if I sound like a "bah-humbug" but I just don't see the fun in being told how to socialize as an adult. Especially since I usually take it upon myself to bring baked goods (I love to bake) and treat my friends to little gifts here and there... I don't like being told to do things like this, it takes the intention and cheer out of it completely (and yes, I've always had a bit of an issue with authority too, Lol!). And when I "host" parties or attend parties that my friends "host" -potluck or not, bringing food and drinks is always OPTIONAL!!! A Host is a Host because they have decided to play that role, which means you don't require your guests to do anything. 

    Oy, I'm cranky tonight :( Sorry, I really just meant to agree with you OP :)

    Anniversary
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    Thanks to both of you for your replies.  It really annoys me and I am so glad that I am not the only one!
    Anniversary
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    You aren't overreacting. I would be miffed too. I think you and your man already have a movie/dinner date scheduled for that night, right?
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    Yeah, they're not really hosting.  

    I'm okay with having to get a dish approved.  You kinda want to make sure you're not going to end up with 10 crock pots of meatballs and no veggie tray kind of thing for a group of the size I assume this is.  One dish per couple should be more than sufficient though, I would I think.  

    The gift exchange - getting approval, or choosing from an approved list is just rediculous.  I actually find white elephant type exchanges to typically be hysterical and would have no problem participating in one with people I didn't know well, but yeah - the approval bit is pretty lame.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-apartment-complex-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:71ffa2d0-ea96-4d04-a68c-cfcfe6d27877Post:86c7a90c-c372-45e6-9465-2b9b36b3cd0b">Re:NWR: Apartment Complex Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well, I have no problem with the gift exchange or the potluck, but demanding approval over the food and gift is pretty bold. I would pick a "pre approved" gift, then end up giving toilet paper printed with aliens on it or something, just to watch them turn purple.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    <div>It was the approval that got me, more than anything.  I find the "hosting" phrase irritating, but it was all of it put together that just got me.</div><div>
    </div><div>Where can you purchase toilet paper with aliens? :)</div>
    Anniversary
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    To me, it's all in the phrasing.
    please call to confirm with the host that what you are bringing works with the menu.
    I understand that they don't want to end up with 10 trays of the same thing, but why not say that instead of saying it needs to work with the menu, kwim?
    When I go to potlucks I dread it because I don't cook. I bring a preprepared fruit platter courtesy of Stop and Shop. I'll let the host know what I'm bringing and if I have to change it to a prepared veggie platter I'm down with that. But "works with the menu?" Thats weirdtalk.
    image
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-apartment-complex-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:71ffa2d0-ea96-4d04-a68c-cfcfe6d27877Post:df88e456-2610-487a-abd9-57d81d565294">Re:NWR: Apartment Complex Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]You aren't overreacting. I would be miffed too. I think you and your man already have a movie/dinner date scheduled for that night, right?
    Posted by Sharpschruter22[/QUOTE]

    <div>That was what he said.  Tell them we have plans.  I said we would have to either really go out or turn off all the lights in the apartment so they did not know we were home.</div><div>
    </div><div>But I am thinking movie.</div>
    Anniversary
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-apartment-complex-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:71ffa2d0-ea96-4d04-a68c-cfcfe6d27877Post:a3b0c518-952e-4ca1-b694-8c439b3e2108">Re: NWR: Apartment Complex Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]Yeah, they're not really hosting.   I'm okay with having to get a dish approved.  You kinda want to make sure you're not going to end up with 10 crock pots of meatballs and no veggie tray kind of thing for a group of the size I assume this is.  One dish per couple should be more than sufficient though, I would I think.   The gift exchange - getting approval, or choosing from an approved list is just rediculous.  I actually find white elephant type exchanges to typically be hysterical and would have no problem participating in one with people I didn't know well, but yeah - the approval bit is pretty lame.
    Posted by Loopyseven[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>There are 87 units in the building, in 2 separate buildings.  The manager's unit is sort of in between them, so they have the space in the parking lot area if it is too full in the house...this is one of the reasons that I was letting the potluck thing go, even though it says hosted as really no one else has the space...but still.  Call to confirm?  My husband and I EACH need to bring something.</div><div>
    </div><div>Wait, I know...he will bring the chips, I will bring the salsa!</div>
    Anniversary
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    I think potlucks should be one contribution per family/couple.  I would bring what you want and pick up a bottle of soda as the other item.  I get why the gift exchange is one per person, but I think it should be advertised as optional participation and you shouldn't need to pick a gift off the list - just get anything under the price limit.  

    Is this something that your apartment complex is hosting (like, with resident activity funds in part), or something that this one person is hosting?  If it's the former, I wouldn't go because I don't celebrate Christmas and I don't think that a general apt complex should be hosting holiday-specific events.  If it was someone's personal Christmas party, I would be happy to attend it as a celebration of their traditions.  
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    I wouldn't be going, but that's just me.

    I find it ridiculous to make every single person in the household bring a separate dish to pass. I also think telling people how much to spend and making them get a gift approved ahead of time is silly.


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    The approval thing and 1 dish per person would bother me. I don't have a problem with the potluck though.

    My parents "hosted" a BYOA(appetizer) neighborhood holiday party every year.   My parents provided their home, paper products and all the beverages. Each couple brought their own appetizer.  People brought the most amazing appetizers.  It was almost a competition who could produce the best one.   As long as they are hosting something (beverages for example) I don't have a problem for it being a potluck in this case.

    1 dish per person is ridiculous and quiet frankly a burden.   It's much easier to double a recipe then it is to make 2 completely different dishes.  Some people can't cook but can figure out 1 dish.  Making them do to would cause people not attend.


    I also don't understand who wants to do a gift exchange with 87 other apartments?  Do anyone really need a cheap gift?   I would rather them say bring a un-wrapped gift for Toys for Tots or a can good for a food bank.







    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    setting a dollar amount for a secret santa/yankee swap/gift exchange is pretty typical becuase no one wants to bring a $40 gift and get a $10 gift.    but i agree with lynda that a donation to a food bank or toys for tots would be better.

    im ok with potlucks.  i do think its odd that they tell you each person has to bring something.  one dish per couple is sufficient IMO.  you could easily say that you and your husband are each bringing spinach dip and then simply make one.  i doubt they'll bounce you at the door.

    ive never been super social with other tenants when ive lived in apartments.  in probably wouldnt even go to this, but if you do go, i dont think the guidelines are too terribly outlandish.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_nwr-apartment-complex-party?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:71ffa2d0-ea96-4d04-a68c-cfcfe6d27877Post:9d19d6db-8938-4fd9-8962-4b514cad2193">Re: NWR: Apartment Complex Party</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>setting a dollar amount for a secret santa/yankee swap/gift exchange is pretty typical becuase no one wants to bring a $40 gift and get a $10 gift.</strong>    but i agree with lynda that a donation to a food bank or toys for tots would be better. im ok with potlucks.  i do think its odd that they tell you each person has to bring something.  one dish per couple is sufficient IMO.  you could easily say that you and your husband are each bringing spinach dip and then simply make one.  i doubt they'll bounce you at the door. ive never been super social with other tenants when ive lived in apartments.  in probably wouldnt even go to this, but if you do go, i dont think the guidelines are too terribly outlandish.
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]
    I've heard of maximum limits, but never a minimum limit. Granted the minimum limit is really low, but I've received gifts from The Dollar Tree and wasn't offended or anything. To mention a minimum limit is, imo, unnecessary.
    image
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    For parties like that, I don't care about the "real" definition of "hosting." I went to my husband's college alumni holiday party yesterday and it cost $20 a couple. So I guess it wasn't really "hosted," but for the $20 we got plenty of hors d'oeuvres (party from 2-5, so time appropriate food), beer and wine, and spent time at a really REALLY nice house. The couple was put out by the party, I'm sure. They actually had staff there to help refill food and drinks and stuff. Would I ever charge for a personal, private event? Of course not, but this is slightly different.

    I side-eye them asking you to call and have your dish "approved." Are they really going to say no? If they want all the dishes to work together, they should have a theme, like "bring something for an Italian dinner" or Mexican food and leave it at that.

    Also, there's always so much food at a potluck. I guess it's to keep 1 couple from bringing 1 bag of chips between them, but if I bring something like a lasagna that's way more than enough to "cover" me and my husband.
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