Christmas or Xmas-Who Put The X in Christmas?

Cookies and Broccoli For Santa!

The total opposite tastes of cookies and broccoli relate to the taste left by the words Christmas and Xmas.
The total opposite tastes of cookies and broccoli relate to the taste left by the words Christmas and Xmas. | Source

And A Merry Christmas To All

Christmas is arguably the most beloved holiday. It is celebrated worldwide and adults as well as children await the season and that special day with anticipation. Christians and atheists are united in love of Christmas. And what’s not to love? There are choirs singing hymns, children dashing through the snow to see Rudolph and Santa’s Elves are imbibing eggnog. The big guy himself is busy making toys for good little boys and girls who have dreams of sugarplums. Sales clerks are ringing up charge card sales and pocketing commissions. Evergreen trees are holding their needles with hope they will be chosen, chopped and decorated with tinsel and silver bells. Turkeys and the Christmas goose are wrapping their wrinkled necks with armor and praying to contract Avian Flu.

People are posting messages to forums, fighting in Target and picketing Wal-Mart because someone said Happy Holidays and the even more evil Merry Xmas! What is all the fuss about? Well, Christmas is about Christ, right? Some will pitch a big snowball at you for suggesting Jesus was born on any other day. But most folk agree this is the chosen day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. And they want to keep the word Christ in there to show respect and to honor Him. Others are in a rush or just not religious and shorten it to Merry Xmas. These are fighting words! Many a sacrilegious heathen has gone to jail or the hospital from defending or uttering the word Xmas.

But who put the X in Christmas? What started this war? It is not what is commonly believed. Some do use it to disassociate the holiday from Christ. But they are using His name when they do this. The convoluted past of X has much more history than most know. Retail devils did not invent it nor did godless greeting card companies.

X is the Greek letter “chi” and is the initial (first) letter of Χριστός . The Greek word Χριστός means Christ, translated Christos in the New Testament English. So X is a Christogram and has been used to represent the word Christ for centuries. A Christogram is a combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church has used X for Christ throughout its long history with no disrespect intended. It is a translation letter and has been recorded as far back as the mid 1500s. The Oxford English Dictionary is documented as having the abbreviation in 1551. The King James Bible was not even completed until 1611. The abbreviation Xianity was used for Christianity. Scholars believe this was entered into language as early as 100 AD. Translators (scribes) copied Old Testament manuscripts and meant no disrespect. The only intent was to save time and space as every word was hand written on expensive parchment so they kept to the Greek.

“Mass” is an Old English word and was used in conjunction with Cristes, Christ’s Mass and was recorded as Christemasse in 1038. As time passed and the use of the English language grew, the word Christmas grew in popularity. When English colonists came to America in the early 1620s and brought the Bible with them, it contained the translation Christ. So Christmas came to America with the pilgrims and it has become the norm to say Christmas, not Xmas.

Some people indeed use Xmas to remove the Savior from the season. Others only wish to save time. None can argue that it is abused. In our culture everyone is seeking to save a moment or two and slang has gained accepted use in social media, texting, and speech. Xmas is used for commercial purposes and to acknowledge the holiday while maintaining separateness.

Xmas will never be found in a religious setting. You will never sing in a church and see it in your hymnal and it is not uttered or written in church teachings. The traditional, cultural and religious use of Christmas is always found in worship rituals.

I do not foresee a time when the word Christian will be replaced with Xtian or Christianity with Xtianity in our society of believers and Christ followers. Since our everyday language is far removed from the Greek and Old English King James, I will not use “thee”, “thou” or “Xmas”, but will continue with my tried and true you instead of thee, your in place of thine and Christmas shall never be forfeit to Xmas.

So when you meet me in the cold winter month of late December, please greet me with Merry Christmas and gift me not with eggnog and fruitcake.

Be well friend. Happy Easter........

Dreams Of Sugarplums

Source

John Lennon Wrote

Happy Xmas Kyoko, Happy Xmas Julian

John Lennon
So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Yoko Ono
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

John Lennon
And so this is Xmas (War is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (War is over)
The world is so wrong (now)
And so happy Xmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

Yoko Ono
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

John Lennon
And so this is Xmas (War is over)
And what have we done (if you want it)
Another year over (now)
A new one just begun
And so happy Xmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

Yoko Ono
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Xmas

So This Is Christmas



© (Brenda Barnes), all rights reserved

Comments 59 comments

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

A very lovely and informative write!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Glad you liked it Pooh. Thanks for stopping in to visit.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

bird, Hey, then that means I have been spelling it right all these years when I thought I was just cheating writing Merry Xmas. hehehe

Well done very clever.

Nice to meet you

Thank you for stopping by for a visit at my Star Wars hub.

I have added a link to the Star Wars Popsicle kits. You

said you thought your grandson would love to have one.

Clicked on all the thingies!

Tina


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thanks Tina, I apreciate the clicks! This Hub was so much fun to write. I was fascinated during the research time! See, you were doing the rihgt thing after all. WhooHoo

I will check out the Star Wars Hub again.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

So I need to say thank you to the Greeks for Xmas and to you my friend for the explanation of its meaning and origin. Hyphenbird, thank you.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Didn't know how the X came about but do now. that's very fine the way you put whats next, Xtian etc.and what lovely pics too. Lennon probably wrote the greatest Christmas song of the 20th century in my opinion.Its a crime against humanity the PTB feared the comeback enough to have him shot by that mind controlled Chapman.Another super hub Hyph.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Dave Mathews, it is entirely my pleasure. I wonder about various things and have decided to research and write Hubs so I can share the knowledge. I am glad you enjoyed this one.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Alastar Packer, hello my friend. I am glad you like the pictures. I figured there are not many kids leaving broccoli for the fat guy.lol

I was just amazed during research on this Hub. I could have made it three times as long. But concise is good. I agree about Lennon, a shame and a great loss.

Thank you for your kind words Alastar.


Bumpsysmum profile image

Bumpsysmum 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Hey Hyphenbird, I did not know that! I don't feel quite so bad now when I write Xmas, I always used it as a time cheat really but only ever when no one but me was reading it. I'm not overly keen on abbreviations as a rule, they tend to become the norm eventually and then we start to lose our lovely language. Very interesting, enjoyed this hub :-)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Bumpsysmum. Hope you are fantastic on this lovely day. I believe most people use it as an abbreviation. I also do not care for them, they do corrupt the language and social media has made it accepted. I am so happy you stopped in. Thank you for the great comment as always.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Xtian? Xtianity? I'm not even gonna go there! Good piece; well-done.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Me either Teylina!!!

Than you very much!


JT 5 years ago

Great info Hyphenbird-I just learned about the x in christmas this past christmas. I still prefer christmas over xmas! keep up the good hubs girl


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Well you're never too old to learn, and i just did. Thank you. Many people say that John Lennon was not a believer. I think the opposite. He hated war. Thank you.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thanks jt. I prefer Christmas and don't like abbreviations anyway myself. Thanks for stopping by.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello always. I hope Mr. Lennon was a believer. God certainly gave him many gifts and talents. In any regard, the way he died was wrong and sad. I am glad this Hub was informative to you. Thanks for the visit.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Hyphenbird~~ I appreciate the research and learned some cool things... but absolutely love that Santa is being offered a healthy alternative/ along with the cookies...

Voted UP & AWESOME... thanks!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

marcoujor, Thanks for the visit. I so enjoyed writing this one. My boy always is very creative in his Santa treats. One year he left cheese and I really loved it. lol


arb 5 years ago

I did know this but I am thankful for a hub explaining the significance and origin of X. Really well done and voted up!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thanks so much arb. I am glad to know people are aware of this subject matter. Appreciate the votes and visit. Please come again.


zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Awesome hub, I really enjoyed the message. I also love Christmas. It is such a wonderful time for giving and expressing love and peace.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

zzron, thanks. I am glad you liked this one. It is a personal favorite of mine and hopefully delivers a great message.


DTroth profile image

DTroth 5 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

Hi Birdie,

Wow...great Hub! Very informative! I never knew how the "X" got in X-mas. Now I know thanks to you! (:

Greatly researched and well written.

Voted UP, U, F (broccoli?) A and B (your sleepy baby and the pooch wearing the bow are so cute)

May peace be in your heart...always, funny girl,

Diana


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thanks Diana. My boy always leaves something "special" for Santa. One year it was cheese and wine. Santa was really happy that night. And my sweet Bella dog seemed embarrassed and didn't want her picture taken. They are so precious to me.

Isn't all the background info fascination? Who knew? I had a great time doing this research and writing it up.

ps-thanks for the fan mail. I cannot find a way to leave any on your profile. I think once we do, we cannot leave it again.

Have a great day. Birdie


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Hypenbird, Here I thought that writing XMAS was just a short form for laziness. So glad to know it isn't. Love learning new things. Have a great day!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

Great information, Hyphenbird. Where I live there is a school district that has just banned SAYING Merry Christmas in their school buildings. Hopefully they'll get taken to court over that...free speech? Personally, I wish them and everyone a very Merry CHRISTmas. Blessings to you.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

The name Christ is being eroded from public speech. We must stand up for our right to say Merry Christmas. If others don't want to say it fine, just don't try to stop me. I do hope the students at that school protest and regain their rights. Thanks for coming by to read this. I am glad it sparked interest. Hyphenbird


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Susan. No, this has a long and complicated past. I also found it interesting. Thanks for the visit and comment.


Lynn S. Murphy 5 years ago

Interesting and informative. The Greek is always fascinating.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

An interesting perspective and an opportunity to learn all rolled into one! Thanks for sharing it. WB


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

What a fascinating, well-written, well-researched hub. I learned much I didn't know before. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

I always loved that John Lennon song.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Lynn. Yes it is always interesting and complex. Thanks for dropping by and for your comments. Merry Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Wayne. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It was great doing the research and all. I keep thinking I need to make it longer. One day I will get on it. Regards, Hyphen.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello HappyBoomerNurse. I thought this was very interesting and enlightening. I appreciate your visit. I love that song myself. There is something gentle about it.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Wow Brenda,

Wonderful hub that brought the Christ back into Christmas..even with using the X..Christ shall not be moved!I really enjoyed learning about this..You are such a great teacher..

Love,

Sunnie


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Amen Sunnie. Christ shall not be moved or removed!I am pleased you liked this one. I very, very rarely share my own Hubs but this one is timely and relevant to the season. It is also important I believe. Thanks for dropping by to read this one.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Very good great information.. People are ignorant when they do not know the facts.. thank you for the facts.. Really like the article..really like this.. I love the video.. of course crazy about John Lennon.. very good choice.. Voted up and awesome


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Deborah. You are so right. Many times people act and react and overreact because they have not learned about the subject. I also love that John Lennon song. His voice is so lovely. I really appreciate you letting me know you found this helpful, educational and fun. That encourages me and helps me know what kind of articles to focus on for the future.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma

I never knew that, cool history lesson.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 4 years ago from Nashville, TN

Great read...


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Pamela and Stan. I am so glad you both found this helpful and interesting. The whole X drama made me curious so I decided to research and found all this (and more). I appreciate the visits and comments. Thank you


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

An interesting and informative read. Thank you!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Sally. My pleasure entirely. I thought it interesting information to share and I also learned a lot.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

a very good X-mas hub..lol and the picture or intro picture of cookies and Broccoli..priceless! LOL


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Frank. I thought that was a great photo also. Poor Santa just might leave with a tummy ache when he visits us. He never knows what is waiting for him. I am glad you like this Hub. People get crazy over that X.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

I will vote up! There are Muslims and people of the Jewish faith in Australia who want to take the Christ out of Christmas and replace it with an X so the holiday is less Christian. If the X stands for Christ anyway then it doesn't matter. By replacing Christ with X they only succeed in presenting Christ in a kind of shorthand. I can live with that!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Rod. Those kind of people cannot realize that our God is much more powerful than their ignorance and hate. The beautiful name of Christ can never be sullied or hidden. Thanks for leaving a great comment for our Lord.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

My point is one of choice. If someone wants to live in a Christian society and believe something else that is fine with me. I won't force anyone to follow Christian beliefs because that shouldn't be the way. At the same token anyone who lives in a Christian society should expect such things as Christmas and Easter celebrations. They don't have to join in. They just have to be tolerant. It isn't a big ask.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Yes, I agree Rod. Tolerance of Christianity is becoming an endangered thing in America. Tolerance of any other religion is required but anything Christ oriented is not protected. We all have a choice to believe or not. That is how God wants it so the choice is genuine. It saddens me when people become so militant when God's only desire is to love us.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Surprise! A wonderful evergreen Christmas hub, Hyph! A pleasure to revisit and share!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is a beautiful hub. Many do not realize that this is not just an abbreviation. Most of our language comes from other, older languages and this word is just another example of that. People think they are being lazy or denying the reason for the season, but they are just using an older word. The joke is on them. Love ya and hope you have a wonderful, spiritual Christmas.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Hello Brenda,

A very lovely, informative hub showing that as much as one may try to take Christ out of Christmas, our Lord still remains in all of his wonderful glory.

Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love and hugs,

Sunnie

PS Cookies and Broccoli what more could Santa ask for..hehe


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

An excellent write. I have often thought using X was disrespectful tag and did not honor Christ. I suppose ignorance is a bliss and your article gives clarity and meaning as to its origins. Most of us who are not Greek literate have judged and wrongly others who use the letter. Still, I am not changing and favor writing Christmas in my season greetings. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you Alastar for sharing this Hub. You are the best and I hope you have an incredibly wonderful Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you dear Becky or coming by my very different Christmas Hub. You are correct. Most people have no idea where the X generated or what it means. We know Christ can never be removed from the season no matter what man may say or write. Have a lovely Christmas.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Sunnie. I rolled with laughter when my little boy decided to leave broccoli and cookies. He said Santa needs to be healthier and was concerned because of that fat belly. Kids are adorable especially this time of year. Thanks for dropping by. Have a blessed and incredible Christmas. It really is all about Christ!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Fiddleman. I d to think that also. I am with you. I shall always use Christmas because I love to see that name before my eyes. Thank you for the good wishes. I pray a most blessed Christmas for you and your family also.


Patrick44 24 months ago

Well done H-bird....I took a similar stab at uncracking the origins of Xmas in a recent Hub.

Oh - and Merry Christmas (!)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 24 months ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Patrick. I will go find your Hub. This is an interesting topic and one that incites great controversy. Have a wonderful Christmas.

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