Richard Hall Online

A Methodist Minister Blogging like it’s 2006

Taking Christ out of Christmas?

It’s odd that Christmas brings out the best and worst in people (including me!) Alongside all the fun, there are also lots of opportunities for being grumpy. Especially for Christians.

“It’s all too commercialised. Bah!”
“Christmas carols in November – it’s too bad!”
And maybe most common of all: “They’ve taken Christ out of Christmas and celebrate X-mas.”

It’s when I hear this last that I get grumpy. Xmas is not “taking Christ out of Christmas”. It’s an abbreviation, nothing more. It isn’t even modern – the practice goes back to Anglo-saxon scribes saving themselves a bit of time in their writing and space on their expensive parchments. You don’t pronounce it “ex-mass” but “Christmas”. The X is not the mathematical uknown quantity, but the first letter (chi) of Christ in Greek. It might be lazy, but it is certainly not the offence that some take it to be.

Merry Xmas!






One response to “Taking Christ out of Christmas?”

  1. Dominic Grant Avatar

    @richard From time to time in Christmas sermons or assemblies I'll riff on the whole Xmas thing: a treasure map on which X marks the spot; a message that's sealed with a X kiss; an invitation to deduce and discover the value of X. All, of course, within the framework you've set out here: that in this case, X is the polar-opposite of anonymity.

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