April 11, 2021

Why the X in XMAS is not a word of disbelievers?

At some part of the time, a common myth came into existence that the word ‘Xmas’ has an atheist meaning. Some people also believed that for the word, ‘Christmas‘ this abbreviation was not appropriate. It was because of a group of people who related word Xmas to the heathen aspect.

In reality, things were not the same as they were believed to be. Later on, it was said that the word ‘Xmas‘ has no atheist meaning in it and is not contrary to Christmas. The X in the ‘Xmas’ was used as a short form of the Greek word and rather indicated a religious meaning. The X was used to represent the word ‘Chi’ of Greek that was a short form of the Greek word Χριστός. In the Greek language, Χριστός means Christ. Therefore it proves that both the words Christmas and Xmas hold the same meaning. The only difference they may hold is the way these words are written and the letter they include. Xmas is not a non-religious name for Christmas and has the same holy meaning like the word Christmas.

Many reputed organizations still do not encourage the use of Xmas in formal writing and instead insist on writing the word Christmas only. The organizations that prefer Christmas over Xmas include the New York Times, the BBC, The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, and Oxford Press. In their issued guidelines, they recommend using the full word Christmas and no related abbreviations of it. But the irony is that at the same word is largely used by religious writers. It is believed that the same people who came up with this word were the first ones to use it and that’s how ‘Xmas’ came into practice. In the place of Christ’s name, the X symbol has been used for a very long time. The writing of X instead of Christ in Christmas might be in practice from a minimum of 1000 years ago.

With time this tactic of using the short-form name instead of the full name was also seen in the non-devout writings. The word Xmas was known slowly to everyone and everywhere. The word Christ was replaced by the Greek word ‘chi’ and was seen written everywhere in this way. For instance, it can be found in many of the non-religious documents of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The word Xine has been used for the person named Christine as replacing Christ with X. 

Facts:

  • In the word Christmas the letters ‘mas’ come from an ancient English word mass. It refers to community service in the name of a saint. Masses were held throughout the Christian community to celebrate their saints. The tradition is still being carried out even in the name of Christ, hence ‘Christmas’.
  • The governor of New Hampshire was not very well versed with some facts. He blindly stated in 1997 declaring the ‘X’ in ‘Xmas’ to be paganistic. The press statement asked journalists to cease the use of the word Xmas stating that it is a belief of Christian non-believers.
  • In the earlier times, following the crucifixion of Jesus, Christmas was not as massively celebrated as today. The followers of Christ were worried about their safety in the hands of the then rulers. Hence, they only celebrated in peace rather than huge, full-fledged celebrations.
  • Christina Aguilera, an American singer is famously known as ‘Xtina’, owing to the fact that the ‘X’ in ‘Xmas’ stands for Christ.