The other day, while roaming the halls of facebook (because let’s face it, that’s where people are these days), a friend mentioned in her status that she was very offended by the use of X-Mas instead of Christmas, Some have even suggested that we all need to boycott retailers and business that use this term in place of Christmas. (Frankly, I’ve never seen this used in any Christmas or Holiday display, ever).
I know there are many that share this sentiment and are upset by the use of X-mas. Their knickers are sure to twist when I say this. X-Mas does not bother me, nor should it bother any of us. In fact, neither does Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or Merry Winter Solstice bother me . I have friends that celebrate all of those things and I think at this time of year it’s all good. They let me have room to celebrate Christmas; I can only extend the same courtesy to them. This does not however mean, I will stop defending the Gospel or Christianity in general. What I’m saying is, before we get angry, we need to take a step back, especially at this time of year.
From Wikipedia we learn:
The “X” in Xmas is from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of Χριστός, Christ in Greek. The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “XP” or “Xt“; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as AD 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧, is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.
When it comes down to it, I’m more bothered by Christmas displays up in August, Black Friday sales, people on TV telling me what gifts to buy, bad Christmas music (I’m talking to you Jessica Simpson) and people who leave their Christmas lights on till Valentine’s Day, not X-mas or Happy Holidays in a store display. For me the X stands for Christ, and that’s what I’m trying very hard to remember at this time of year.