Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas vs. Xmas

My entire life I've seen and accepted the abbreviated version of Christmas marked "xmas". I never really thought much about it until I realized somewhere that the "x" was actually replacing the word "Christ". I don't know how I never realized it but someone somewhere told me it was so. I vowed never to do it again and if I felt I needed to abbreviate it I did so by replacing "mas" with the "x". Made more sense to me. I want to keep Christ in Christmas in more ways than one.

I've seen a lot of debate about the use of "xmas" lately. It seems to be a hot topic among Christians and non-Christians alike. And it's no wonder. In today's politically correct climate of saying the right thing so as not to offend, I think it is admirable that many of us want to make sure our Lord is not forgotten during this season. A fellow Christian recording artist I know has apparently been getting a bit of flack for using the term "xmas". I've seen him defend his position on twitter a couple of times. Something about "X" being some Greek letter for the first letter of "Christ". I don't know. Didn't really follow it. I just knew it sent a little shiver up my spine when I saw "xmas". Still, this man, whose walk with the Lord I greatly respect, didn't seem to have a problem with the abbreviation and apparently had good reasons why. It made me want to know more about his position.

After I tweeted something using the abbreviation "Christx", one of my followers (thx mumof3boyz) sent me a link to this article about the use of "x" for "Christ". Now I understood! I've heard of a Jewish custom that admonishes one to not say the name of God out of reverence (like "G_d" or even "I AM". This seems to be similar in thought. I've also recently heard of the "x" representing the cross that Jesus died on for our salvation.

What I've reconciled in my mind is that for some, xmas is simply tradition that many don't give a second thought to, for some it is out of reverence, for some it offends. Because I don't have the ability to divine people's motives, I dare not judge either way. I choose to walk out my convictions in love. Romans 14 puts it better than I can. Check it out in The Message here. Whether the dispute is about the right foods to eat, the right days to celebrate, or the right way to refer to "Christmas", let's not cause our Christian brothers to stumble by forcing our our convictions on disputable matters on each other. If you call Jesus "Lord", you are my brother. That is the issue of salvation. The rest of it that causes many to argue and fuss, we'll finally figure out in eternity.

For me, what is more important during this season is that I remember why I celebrate Christmas. I love the time with my family. I like giving and getting gifts. I look forward to watching "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Carol", and "Miracle on 34th Street" every year. I never tire of singing "Jingle Bells", "Deck the Halls", and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". But may I never ever forget that Christmas celebrates the birth of the most important person in my life. 

I love birthdays. I try to tell my family and friends how much they mean to me on their birthday. I give them gifts, but more importantly I make it a point to tell them the impact they have had on me. How I couldn't imagine my life without them in it. How I cherish the times we have spent together. In the end I want them to know that I am glad they were born.

How much more should I tell this to the man who saved my life? Who gave me purpose, hope, and joy? Who set me free (in more ways than one)! The man who came in a way that no one expected? He does that a lot doesn't He? People were looking for a man mighty in stature and wealth. He came in the form of a baby in a lowly manger. But shepherds, wise men, even animals recognized his deity. And so do I. Jesus Christ is Lord. I respect Him. I revere Him. I honor Him. I adore Him. And THAT is what Christmas means to me....but I'm still gonna say "Christx"!  It's tradition!

Happy birthday Jesus!
Merry Christmas all!

Disa

19 comments:

  1. Disa,
    I personally think some people just use Xmas as an abbreviation for a longer word.. BUT.. me..... I just simply cant do it. Why appreviate the real reason for the occasion. its like saying its J's birthday.. NOT Jesus' Birthday....

    I will follow you in the Christx.... thats the only abbreviation I agree with....

    I love you....
    Merry Christmas....
    Spunky....

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  2. Merry Christmas Disa! Thank you for sharing this.

    Love in Christ and a BIG HUG 2 Ya,
    Traci

    http://www.choose2livechoosehealth.blogspot.com

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  3. PS: I agree with Spunky. . . something just doesn't see right with X ing out CHRIST, even if there is a good reason for it, it appears wrong to me.

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  4. Mandisa,

    I couldn't agree with you more. In a society that is so quick to abbreviate, we fail to remember what is the real reason for the season. And we should never forget that!

    I'll take the time to type or write out Christmas. It is the least I can do for Him!

    @OneHotMomma

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  5. I get irritated with people who get irritated with the whole Xmas thing. As if we have the power to eliminate Christ from eternity or something through the use of this abbreviation! I especially agree with this quote in the article you linked us to:

    "So in many ways, the X in Xmas stands for Christ. Christmas is sometimes called xmas because Χ, or Chi, is the first letter of the Greek spelling of Christ: Χριστός

    The Greek word for Christ begins with the letter Chi, which is written identical to the roman letter X. So, as a form of shorthand, some people replace "Christ" with the first letter of his Greek name, X.


    Merry Christmas!

    Merry Xmas!

    Happy Birthday, Χριστός !!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

    P.S. Just listened to you on the Michael W Smith Christmas album a moment ago!

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  6. Welcome back! I'm a new follower and I hadn't been feeling in the "Xmas" spirit. Looking at the lighted reindeer and ornaments and the like, had me a bit depressed. I thought I didn't want to celebrate this year. But when I started listening to the traditional Christmas hymns and songs (I have Pandora.com set on my computer) I realized that I am no longer interested in "Xmas" and I'm simply celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus and Christmas!!

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  7. Seeing as this is an age ruled my technology, "Xmas" stems from all the other abbreviated words in today's society. Personally, whenever I abbreviate something, it's to be funny. I feel that abbreviating a word because it's "easier" is an EXTREMELY lazy thing to. I don't abbreviate "be right back" as "brb", or "talk to you later" as "ttyl", or even Christmas as "Xmas."

    When you say the 'x' stands for Christ and that's why people use the abbreviation, I don't think you're seeing their reasoning 100% full circle. If a poll was surveyed as to what the meaning of the 'x' in "Xmas" means, I doubt more than 20% of people would get it right, because they simply don't know. This day and age where people think and speak as if they are typing a text message or chatting with someone online rules the meaning behind abbreviations. While I respect your decision not to use "Xmas" as an abbreviation, I ask you to see passed the "meaning" of the "x" because, most likely, people don't know what it means-- not including the religious people who have investigated the answer.

    Just a thought! <3

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  8. Thanks, Mandisa! Here are my thoughts...http://susanhlawrence.blogspot.com/2009/12/too-much-nativity.html

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  9. I personally do not think many people placed much thought in why they used "X" in place of Christ...these discussions will force people to think about why we say and do the things we say and do.

    Have a Merry Christmas and Blessed 2010

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  10. I agree with you completely! I've grown up in a Christian home and my family taught me not to use "Xmas" because it took Christ out of "Christmas".. By reading the reasoning for abbreviating Christmas, I still feel wrong about using it. When I see "Xmas," I don't read it "Christmas." I read it how it sounds, and I think that's how it is with most people. Even if it stands for the Greek name of Christ, it makes me cringe. So, like you said, I'm going to stick to my convictions about the use of this.

    I also thank you for pointing out that we shouldn't be argueing over such trivial things, but focusing on Christ and the salvation that he gives us! Amen sista!!!!!!

    Merry CHRISTmas!! :)

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  11. Great post with all sides being considered. I also can't write the word Jesus, God, His or He without capitalizing them because of Their deity.

    Many blessings and more fruit of the Spirit in 2010.

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  12. Well first off, I want to thank you for posting this blog because it is a very big pet peeve of mine to abbreviate Christmas. I must admit, in the past I have done likewise until it was brought to my attention that it took Christ out of Christmas. I have seen people on twitter use it liberally and a couple of times I have replied to them asking them to not take Christ out of the equation; but it is overwhelming because it seems everyone does it but only out of lazines to type the entire word and not even recognizing they are doing, so rather than them trying to obliviate Christ. However, being enlightened by this blog I will not impose my beliefs, even though i cring everytime I see it, but share that Jesus is still and always the reason for the season.

    Merry Christmas,
    Kristy

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  13. I've always heard that Christians shouldn't write "xmas" but I never thought that was right...seemed awful legalistic to me when I knew I had no intention of taking Christ out of Christmas...I was just saving space or time. But only this year have I heard of the X meaning Christ thing, or saying Christx...I like both of those!! But I hope that everyone will follow their own convictions and not stumble or cause anyone else to stumble.Thanks for the blog!!

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  14. I know longer us the X. I prefer to leave Christ in Christmas. (smile) Great blog!

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  15. I like your take on the issue. I would use Xmas to occasionally just for abbreviation purposes. This year, a friend suggested I spell it out because Xmas has become too secular. I don't think most people who write it are deliberately leaving out Christ. I always saw the X as kind of representing the cross. But when possible, I'm writing out Christmas from now on. Thanks for the post and have a blessed Christmas.

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  16. Girl, you are RIGHT ON! I have always loved Romans 14. We all have different convictions according to our culture, our upbringing, our calling and our spiritual maturity. Thank you for posting this! I pray you have Merry Christmas!

    -Leslie Nease (your Survivor friend)

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  17. X is the sign for the Greek letter Chi. Chi or X is often used as an abbreviation for Christ. It is most correct when written Chi Rho. This is written XP, but was often shortened to just X. Especially in the time of the early church. Xmas is actually just the same Christmas but written using the Greek letter for Christ. Its interesting that the secular world thinks they are eliminating Christ by using the X... if they only knew!

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  18. I personally don't use "Xmas" but it doesn't really bother me. People in this life spend way too much time looking for reasons to be offended. It's getting ridiculous with having to be politically correct everywhere we turn.

    If someone wants to use "Xmas", so be it. Using that in no way changes what CHRISTmas means to me.

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