A pounding has roots in religious circles. But how is it celebrated today?
When a single person or a family moves to the area, our church loves to set them up with any non-perishable food items and kitchen utensils they may need. Sometimes, we will do this instead of a bridal shower. Especially if someone in the couple already has an established home and we know they have the standard things you need (think towels, a knife set, etc).
But how did this idea come to be?
The history behind poundings
Let’s get the joke out of the way. “A pounding? Why don’t we hug them?”
Luckily, the pounding we are talking about doesn’t include any form of violence.
Poundings are rooted in religious communities welcoming a preacher to their area. When the preacher arrives, the community members would take something from their pantries – something you can measure by the pound – to stock the pantry of the preacher.
That’s how non-perishable goods came into play. By today’s standards, that now looks like boxed pasta, canned goods, and even cleaning supplies.
Special goods for a pounding could be things like baking supplies, herbs, condiments, oils, and even refrigerated items like ground beef and butter.
Aren’t these all housewarming gifts?
A pounding is very much like a housewarming party, but it’s usually hosted at something like a church building or someone else’s home instead of the homeowner’s. A pounding is thrown in the honor of someone. It is not hosted by the person moving.
Other “pound venues” could include a restaurant or a community activity like a sign painting class.
Finally, housewarming gifts include things like decor, candles, kitchenware, and towels. Poundings are centered around non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies.
Who do I throw a pounding for?
A pounding could be thrown for a single person moving into a new apartment or home. It could also be thrown for a couple getting married, but one of them already has an established home and doesn’t need things like linens or decor.
Finally, you can throw a pounding to welcome a new family to your neighborhood or congregation. I’ve also heard of churches throwing new elders a pounding, again, to welcome them to their congregation.
How do I throw a pounding?
A pounding can be thrown much like a bridal shower.
You can craft the perfect invitation by asking what kinds of things your recipient needs. Do they need non-perishable items more than they do cleaning supplies? Keep the invite focused on that!
Second, select your venue. For the pounding I threw, we hosted it at our church building. We painted picture frames and played Two Truths and a Lie so the woman joining our congregation could get to know our members better.
For the picture frames, we simply gathered the necessary craft supplies and asked pounding participants to bring a frame to paint.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a traditional housewarming gift?
Bread, olive oil, and rice are all traditional housewarming gifts.
Modern housewarming gifts include plants, blankets, candles, and technology.
How do you give a pounding?
Traditionally, a pounding is where you bring food to your preacher’s home and stay to visit. This time is spent getting to know one another. Today, a pounding can be hosted by someone and the newcomer could be a family or congregant in your church.
Do you need a gift for your next housewarming party? Here’s what I recommend!
You can never go wrong with dish towels.
Get creative and take your gift in a mason jar! Instead of store-bought brownie mix you could make your own and include a cute label.
If you want to throw a pounding but need activity ideas, check out my Seasonal Homemaking Activities ebook! For just $5, you can have access to 350 cleaning and craft activities, bucket lists for every season, and customizable homemaking checklists. There are so many ideas you could use as activities for your pounding or next party!
Download my ebook here.
Who can you throw a pounding for?
As the church, we should always be looking for ways to look out for other members of our congregation! And the same applies to our communities. Who in your neighborhood may need some encouragement? Maybe they don’t need a box of pasta. But could they use some company and a cup of coffee?