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Xmas? It’s Greek to me!

First let me apologize for my long absence. I’m all out of excuses, so I’ll just say I’m sorry. 🙂

Now, on to my post….are you a Christian offended by the word “Xmas”? Do you feel it’s part of an evil effort to “x out christ”? Well, stop it! The origin of the word “xmas” is steeped in the Christian faith! And here’s the good news, it opens up a wonderful teaching opportunity about the history of the church. Skeptical? Read on…

First of all, the use of the word “xmas” isn’t some modern attempt to secularize Christmas. The word has been used for at least 1000 years, and probably much longer.

So what’s the X stand for? Christ! X was commonly used as an abbreviation for Christ in the 1500’s, the days of the early printing press. Words like Xian, Xianity, and Xmas were employed as a way to save time and ink. Typesetting was done by hand and a very tedious process.  Why X? It’s the Greek symbol for X (Chi) which is the first letter in Christo. Greek symbols representing important aspects of faith have a long tradition in the Christian faith.

Use of the word “X” for Christ has even been spotted in ancient Christian art.

This is from the Vatican. Greek letters X (Chi) and P (Ro)..symbolizing the first two letters in the word Christos…meaning Christ.

Pretty cool, huh?

So do not fear the word Xmas. When you see it, smile…and remember X=Christ.