Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon





Xenial ~ of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest and especially among the ancient Greeks between persons of different cities. ~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary


During the A to Z Challenge, each of us participating has opened the door and invited both strangers and friends into our world.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes Xenial as pertaining to the friendly relation between host and guest, relating to hospitality.

One of the most respectful forms of hospitality during the 1930s was welcoming guests and sharing a meal. Women cooked and served food even in the poorest of households. It was a sign of good manners to offer food and drink, no matter how poor the household.

Women were often the breadwinners in families. They sewed clothes, tended gardens, and were responsible to stay within the food budget. Hospitality could be expensive. Enjoying one another’s company at potlucks, where each woman brought a dish to share was one way to extend the generosity of hospitality to friends and family.

Women were creative with the less expensive sources of protein: rice, beans, and cheese. Spam and bologna substituted for beef, pork and lamb. Chickens could be raised in the yard and became a staple Sunday sit-down meal for the after-church crowd.

No matter what a woman’s economic circumstances, she did her best to put food on the table and share a meal:





Thanks for stopping by.

7 thoughts on “Xenial

  1. Xenial – good word. I’ve enjoyed your A to Z! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great post; it really is impressive how the women ran the house and were the breadwinners. In the Bible I love how the Proverbs 31 woman is no meek mouse.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

  3. I love having guests and always feel honored when people visit me. I love that word.
    @DoreeWeller from
    Doree Weller’s Blog

  4. I’ve never heard that word before and hope to remember it. I love that generosity of sharing a meal during such hard times. It’s a good lessons to the misers of today. Also, I think women were much better cooks back then so if you added a few extra bodies to the table, they could adapt. Not think I only have enough for four full stop.
    xx Rowena

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