X is for…Xenia (a-z challenge)

Thanks to the A-Z challenge I learned something new!

Xenia is the Greek concept of hospitality, or generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home.  It is often translated as guest-friendship because the rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between host and guest.

There are three basic rules of Xenia. 

  • The respect of host to guest.  The host must be hospitable to the guest offering them food, drink and a bath if required.
  • The respect of guest to host.  The guest must be courteous and not be a burden.
  • The parting gift from host to guest.  This is to show that the host was honored to have received the guest.
  •  (Wiki Info)

Spiritual assessment tests have shown that I have the gift of hospitality.  However long before ever taking one of these tests I knew that entertaining family and friends was my sweet spot.  I find great joy in welcoming them into our home and then making sure they are well taken care of.  The greatest compliment I have ever received is when a friend told me “I love your home, it is so comfortable.” 

I believe hospitality is a gift I was born with but it was also nurtured by my family.  My Grandmother had the gift of hospitality.  I remember that she always had a cake and a pot of coffee ready everyday at 3pm for whomever showed up at her door, and show up they did.  She had 9 children and dozens of grandchildren and on any given afternoon her kitchen was filled with people and laughter.

My parents know how to add that special little touch to any gathering, good conversation or a special dessert or two. They never show up empty-handed or let you leave without a gift from the garden or the freezer.  They are some of the most hospitable people you could ever meet. 

 My Sister is a great party planner and hostess with the mostess.  She has an annual Halloween party that people start planning to attend in July!  That is a testament to her gift of hospitality and thoughtfulness. 

I know that I could show up unannounced at any one of my Cousins or Aunts homes and they would welcome me with open arms.  And if it so happened to be around 3pm I am almost positive I would be offered a fresh hot cup of coffee and slice of something sweet! 

Our family has been practicing Xenia for generations and we just thought we were being hospitable. 


Filed under Blogging Challenges, Blogging from A-Z April Blogging Challenge, encouragment, family, my story.., postaweek2011

5 responses to “X is for…Xenia (a-z challenge)

  1. This is such a wonderful post, Jeanne! I loved it from first to last!

    I love your blog . . . it’s so comfortable. 😀

  2. Jeanne this post rocked! How refreshing.
    ” I remember that she always had a cake and a pot of coffee ready everyday at 3pm for whomever showed up at her door…”

    So envious and it’s difficult to imagine those families exisit. Everyone in our family is divorced and like their privacy and you are not welcomed to come over unannounced, you must call, and check if okay. My mom now has to check her calendar, and I have to reserve way in advance to see them! It’s ridiculous, I don’t even bother any longer…kids are having this, come if you want. 🙂
    However, they are quite generous/hospitable when we are there! It’s just getting permission.

    I enjoyed reading this lovely post about your family! Thank you!


    • Sandi, Thank you for your kind words. I realize that I am very blessed to have a family like mine. However we are not without our not so hospitable moments…thank goodness they are few and far between.

  3. Pingback: Mom and Me…in the kitchen | jeanne's blog

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