"Xmas" Need I write or say more?
I didn't think so. Most of us do one of two things when we see or hear “X-Mas” (or “Happy Holidays” for that matter). We either roll our eyes as we know the comments that will inevitably come from the person who is “deeply offended” by the fact that someone “took Christ out of Christmas”.
For the record, I'm the one rolling my eyes. I think the offense people take to this is lunacy. There are bigger things to be concerned with. Besides, I think their offense is due to a misunderstanding.
Still, let's not even go there. For a minute, let's examine if anyone is REALLY taking Christ out of anything when they say or write “Xmas” or “Happy Holidays”.
I'll cut straight to the point. Christ wasn't born at Christmas. Christmas didn't start as a “Christian” holiday. It started as a PAGAN (i.e.: secular, or not related to Christ) holiday. Somewhere back in the glorious middle ages, the Catholic Church recognized the depth of this holiday & wanted to find a way to claim it as their own in hopes of drawing more people into the church. To do so, they decided that they would celebrate the birth of Christ during this pagan winter celebration.
Back in the day, the Catholic church had a way of taking over things if/when they wanted to. And thus, Christmas as we know it today was born. Well, not exactly as we know it today because today people spend unGodly amounts of money on presents and completely forget about the created reason for the season in the process.
Side note: Yes, I do believe it is UNGodly amounts of money. Seriously? How much did you give to feeding the hungry? Helping those less fortunate? Yet you're going to max out your credit cards for gifts? Why? Any rate...that's a horse for another blog.
When WAS Christ born? It has been theorized that he was born in the fall, around September or October. Although some say it was likely closer to spring or summer. Regardless, ALL are certain that according to the Biblical account of his birth and the events surrounding it, there is NO WAY he was born in the dead of winter. I'm not Presbyterian, but they do an excellent job of breaking down the details of when Christ was likely born.
For a minute lets put aside that you cannot take a person out of something of which they were never a part in the beginning. Let's say that because the Catholic church brought Christ into the holiday He is now a bonafide part of the holiday and as such shouldn't be removed from said holiday by crass use of “Xmas” or “Holiday” instead of the full “Christmas”. (By the way, celebrating Christmas was made ILLEGAL by the colonists because they felt it was an unholy, pagan celebration. But I digress.)
Still with me? If not, here's a review. We're now ignoring the FACT that Christ was NOT born at Christmas and are instead pretending that He was. Based on this premise, we have reason to be mean and unChrist-like in our response to people should they use the “unGodly” “Xmas” or “Holiday” instead of the MORE Godly “Christmas”.
We've already established that it is, in fact, NOT wrong to use “Holiday” instead of “Christmas” because that's exactly what the day started as...a “Holiday” that had nothing to do with Christ. Even if we say Christ is now a part of Christmas, most of us can concede that those who aren't Christians would prefer using “Holiday” over “Christmas”. Still, what CHRISTIAN wouldn't WANT to use the full “Christmas” instead of “X'ing” Christ out of Christmas by saying or writing “Xmas”?
But wait. Is it really unGodly to say or write “Xmas” instead of “Christmas”? Is it really “X'ing” Christ out of Christmas as so many proclaim?
The word for “Christ” in Greek is “Xristos”. During the 16th Century, “X” was used in place of the full “Xristos” as a form of short-hand. It was understood that the “X” stood for “Xristos” or “Christ”. People even referred to Christians as “Xians”. It was a commonly referred to abbreviation.
A quick online search will reveal to you how that abbreviation continued on through the years.
I would really encourage you to do a little research the next time you're tempted to attack another follower of Christ out of offense. I would encourage you to stop ANYTIME you're attempted to attack another and behave in a rude or unChrist-like manner even if you KNOW you're right. Even if you ARE right, there is NO justification for treating another human (Christian or not) in a rude or unChrist-like manner. As Christians, we are to be held to a higher standard. I am a FIRM believer for standing for what's right. I am ALSO a firm believer of doing so in a Christ-like manner.
On that note, Merry Christmas, Merry X-Mas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Festivus.