Christmas or Xmas?

Through the years, I hear people complaining about others spelling “Christmas” as “Xmas”. The most important word “Christ” is left out and replaced with “X”. What now? Which should we use?

Many Christians demand that “Christmas” shouldn’t be spelled with an “X”. They argue that those who abbreviate it to “Xmas” do not really respect or commemorate Christ’s birth because they deliberately leave him out. Somehow, they’re right, but do they really have to sound so preachy? I did a little research because X has to mean something.

Chi Rho. An ancient symbol of Christianity, a monogram formed by overlapping "Chi" and "Rho", the first two letters of Christ.

Let’s assume that “X” stands for Christ, but how? Christ, in Greek, is ” Χριστός” or something like “Christus”. The first two letters, Chi and Rho, are often used in ancient times as a symbol of Christianity by overlapping them to form a monogram. Legend says that Roman emperor Constantine saw this symbol in a dream and has been told, “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα”, en toutōi nika, meaning “with this sign you shall conquer”.

The point is, X or Chi Rho arbitrarily stands for Christ. So what do we do? Are we going to use it?

To “Christmas activists”, here’s for you, tone down. Yes, you may have a point, but we are not to focus on trivial things as abbreviations and etymologies that we forget the real Reason for the Season—Jesus Christ. Let’s celebrate anyway, since it’s the time that we should celebrate the coming of our Savior to earth.

To everyone else who uses “Xmas”, why don’t you spell it out anyway? It wouldn’t hurt to type in a few more characters, especially those who send text messages or SMS. I tell you, it wouldn’t hurt. Typing in “Christmas” with no fuss than “Xmas” with a lot of arguing is better, right?

Anyway it’s up to you. If you want to use “Xmas” but it troubles your conscience, don’t do it. Early Christians might have spelled ‘Christmas’ a whole lot differently, anyway. But to be safe, just be safe. Spell it out. Then you can focus on the more important things during the Holidays. Merry Christmas, everyone. 🙂

“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
Romans 14:23b, KJV


7 thoughts on “Christmas or Xmas?

  1. It always boggles my conscience to use xmas or not. Good thing I don’t. But if, like, makes the sms worth 2 pesos, I abbreviate it.

  2. Have you gone to Cebu right next at Asnar, some street signages are written in contraction. They contract Pedestrian Crossing to PedXing. X has a lot of meaning. But the moral lesson of the story: Don’t contract if u think it runs the risk of double-meaning.

    1. I agree, Just4laugh. Here in Visayas State University, we also have that PedXing. It took me a few hours after it was first installed before I got the meaning. So I think it goes the same with Xmas. Typing a few more letters is better than misunderstanding contractions.

      1. before i knew what PedXing meant I thought he was such a rich guy to have a lot of signs across Manila and had it in yellow instead of the usual green. haha

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