It is an annual battle, whether one should use Xmas instead of Christmas when writing the holiday word. Many individuals use Xmas as an abbreviation of Christmas; however it has caused much frustration among Christians who observe the holiday. They feel that to use Xmas is a blatant blasphemy against Christianity and Christ himself.
It is also believed by many that by writing the word Xmas instead of Christmas, this is helping to lead to even more secularization and commercialization of what is considered one of Christianity’s most holy days. However, individuals who are against abbreviating Christmas apparently are unaware with the extremely long history of past Christians using X to stand for “Christ” for numerous reasons.
The very word “Christ” and what makes up add-ons to it, such as the word “Christmas”, have been abridged in the English language for at least the past 1,500 years. This was far before any modern use of the word Xmas was ever put into use. “Christ” was very often written out as “X”. There have been worded references discovered as far back as 1020. The capital X represents the uppercase form of a Greek X. This stands for the letters “Ch”. The X is still seen very often in many Eastern Orthodox writings over Jesus Christ.
The Oxford English Dictionary and its supplement have cited numerous usages of “X” for “Christ” that go back to around 1480. The term “Xtian” has been written out in place of the word “Christian”. The OED continues to stay that the usage of the abbreviation “Xtianity” in place of “Christianity” begin about 1630. It is stated in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary that the majority of all evidence for these certain words come straight from highly educated Christian Englishmen who were well-versed in the Greek language.
However, none of this information matters to many modern day Christians. They are steadfast about rejecting the “Xmas” greeting. They continue to claim that by writing it that way, it is taking Christ out of Christmas. They choose to completely ignore the true history of the Xmas term, and how it is so deeply rooted in the Greek language.
Many Christians have a fish symbol on the back of their cars. That is because early Christians used the animal as a symbol of their faith. It is believed that while persecution of Christians was going on from the early church, if a Christian was meeting someone new, he or she would start to draw a fish on soft earth. If the other person was also a Christian, the drawing would be completed by the second individual. If the second person did not finish the fish drawing, than it shown this person was not Christian, and the secret of the first person being a Christian stayed a secret.
Many individuals in today’s society maintain that Christmas has moved away from the original Christian tradition. However, Christians need to remember that before Christ came into the picture, the winter solstice was celebrated. It is not by chance that Christmas has become the biggest holiday in America. No one sees a large celebration going on around the summer solstice.
It is true that some individuals use Xmas in some sort of uninformed attempt to pull apart the secular from the sacred. They have no idea about the actual roots of Xmas being a direct reference to Christ himself.
By using Xmas, some may think that the writer is attempting to replace Christ. However, the rational listener will solve for X and find that its value is equal to the main reason of the Christmas season, and that is Christ.
By Kimberly Ruble