Etiquette Experts Weigh-In on Gift Registry Boom

It used to be, when you heard the word "registry", the words "baby" or "wedding" also came to mind.

But now, the term "registry" is taking on broader meaning.

Online "wish" lists can make it easier than ever to buy and receive gifts… and businesses are banking on it.

"Online retailers have seen a big opportunity in being able to encourage you to buy gifts for someone else or to put together your own wish list," says CNET's Dan Ackerman.

Websites like allow users to set up a gift registry for just about any occasion. And registries for graduations, housewarming parties, kid's birthday parties, even divorces, are growing in popularity.

They take the guesswork out of gift giving, but also risk being considered tacky.

"There's a danger that you could end up with what I call sort of registry resentment," Ackerman says.

Users of these "alternative registries" should follow a few words of etiquette advice.

"One should never include that information on the invitation," says Etiquette expert Patrickia Napier-Fitzpatrick.

"Those occasions are to celebrate with friends and they're about the friends and the guests and not about the gifts"

Napier-Fitzpatrick says the registry should only be provided if and when someone asks for it.

And for birthday registries she says the number one mistake is to have your child walking around a store pointing out what they want.

The message is to keep the celebration about the event... and not the gifts.

Etiquette experts say it *is* proper etiquette to bring a gift whenever you attend a celebration, whether it be a holiday event or a housewarming party.

It is up to you to decide *what* to bring, but asking the host for ideas or a link to a registry is perfectly acceptable.