Tuesday, 17 September 2019

M Michele's Musings

The “X” in X-mas is for Christ ☧… Who Knew?

 

XMasGrandson

The photo is of my youngest grandson, Aidan, who will be celebrating his second Christmas this year.

                                   Photo by Tuesday Lynne Montgomery  

 

Christmas Blessings

     May your Christmas and New Year

       be filled with Peace, Love and Joy…

 XMas


 

It’s Christmas time and the world is gearing up for the season decorating houses and stores, putting up lights and Christmas trees, buying gifts, and planning parties. As in previous years, I have heard the grumblings and complaints regarding the use of the term X-mas rather than Christmas. I had never really seriously thought about the term but recently I became intrigued by it. Questions were buzzing in my head concerning the origin of X-mas. I wanted to know all the how’s, why’s, when’s, where’s, what’s and who’s that started it all. Is it an attempt to “X” Christ out of one of Christendom’s most sacred and special Holidays by a secularized society bent on commercialism? Or was there something more to the use of the term? What was the truth of the whole matter?

Before I had the chance to get on the internet and research the term, X-mas, I began to contemplate some things about an “X.”   There are some pretty amazing things about an X that are perfect to depict Christ. For instance if you turn an X, it could actually be the shape of a cross. What better representation of Jesus? The main reason God sent His beloved Son, Jesus, was to die on the cross for our redemption. I thought about the fact that when Jesus died on the cross and shed His precious blood, He “X-ed” out our sins; washing them away and making us “as white as snow.” “As distant as the east is from the west, that is how far he has removed our sins from us.Psalms 103:12

 

Words then came to mind that start with the “X” sound and are wonderful descriptive terms that make one think of Christ and some of His many attributes.   He is eXtraordinary: astonishing, astounding, remarkable, wonderful, incredible and amazing. He was sent to be an eXample for us all to follow. And He is eXemplar: the prototype, the standard, the ideal pattern. He is so very eXtra-special and His love for each and every one of us knows no bounds. He is the eXalted One to be praised and worshipped. In all His ways He is truly eXceptional, He knew no sin and He was perfect in all His ways. How eXcellent is His Name!

Then while searching the web for the history of X-mas, I discovered some wonderful Good News and Glad Tidings about the term. The use of the “X” in X-mas has Christian roots dating back all the way to the 16th Century.   I found multiple references and articles regarding the term with some pretty fascinating facts and have included a few excerpted references:

 

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass, while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός which comes into English as "Christ". The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas", have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern "Xmas" was commonly used. "Christ" was often written as "Xρ" or "Xt"; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for "Christ"), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as , is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.

About.com > About Education > Why Is There an X in Xmas? Isn't It Sacrilegious?

Some Christians complain that the abbreviation Xmas for Christmas is part of a move to secularize the holiday, to take the Christ out of Christmas, but this isn't really justified. Chi is written as an 'X' and Rho is written as a 'P', but they are the first two letters of the Greek word Christ 'savior'. 'XP' is sometimes used to stand for Christ. Sometimes X is used alone. This is the case in the Chi (X) abbreviation for Christ in Xmas. Thus, Xmas is not directly a way of secularizing the holiday, but since 'X' is not Chi in English, we read the word as X-mas and see no connection with Christ.


My ignorance now departed, this information opened my eyes with the hope I will not readily take offense at the use of this common abbreviation for Christmas. I take comfort knowing the “X” in “X-mas” has Christian roots. I take joy in the wonderful symbolism of the “X” itself. Perhaps with this new information safely tucked in our hearts we can make peace with “X-mas.” After all, no one can really take Christ out of Christmas. Christ will ALWAYS be the center of Christmas and because He is real there truly is a Reason for the Season. Praying you are Blessed as you celebrate God’s greatest gift to mankind this Christmas Holiday Season.  

Love in Christ, Michele

Copyright December 2015 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire

Columnist: Michele's Musings

Picture Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine.  

Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies.  This quickly became a ministry for her.  

Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at  micheles.musings@gmail.com

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