Taking Christ Out of Christmas?

About the use of “Xmas” for “Christmas”

By: Allan Wallace

There are some out there who want to make Christmas a totally secular holiday. These people exist, but one of the things they tend to do to accomplish this does not work… using Xmas in place of Christmas.

But, why doesn’t this work?

In the time of the early Christian church, the Greek language was the second most spoken language in the western half of the known world. And Greek conventions for use of the language passed along with the language. One such convention was using the letters of the Greek alphabet to denote or stand in for basic concepts. That is how the use of Greek letters made its way into math, the sciences, and into everyday life as a shorthand or abbreviation for basic concepts.

During the first century AD, the Greek letter “Chi” came to stand for Christ. And it eventually became well-known as an abbreviation of “Christ”.

The Greek Letter “Chi” looks like an “X” in our alphabet. So, whether someone uses Christmas or Xmas, they are saying the exact same thing.

Modern Christians need not be embarrassed using Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas. In fact, it may spur some interesting conversations.

So, when someone says something like, “I hate it when people use Xmas instead of Christmas, they just want to remove Christ from Christmas.” Tell them, “If that is what they are trying to do, then they are failing miserably.”

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