It seems like a memory to me, but I can’t quite place where it occurred. Many can relate, however, to climbing up in the attic and retrieving seasonal decorations for a particular time of year. Nestled somewhere between tubs of old baby clothes, college books, and every episode of Star Trek: The Original Series recorded on VHS video cassettes are several boxes labeled “Xmas Decorations.”
To many, this is absolute blasphemy! Every Christmas season many become persona non grata when they render Christmas as “Xmas.” Their agenda is quickly brought into question and claims that Christ is being removed from this most special time are hurled blindly.
For a nice little experiment the next time you see this phrase used, grab your abacus and begin counting the ways it is condemned as the Great War on Christmas.
Contrary to public opinion, the use of Xmas is quite respectful and pays deference our Lord, Jesus Christ. Using “X” as the first part of this term was derived from the first letter in Christ’s name in Greek “Χριστος” (Greek for Christ) and was adopted as an abbreviation. Consider the use of the ICTHUS, or fish, as a symbol for Christianity. By taking the first letters of the statement “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” we have a very popular emblem on the back of many modern cars.
I can hear the objections of some saying “We aren’t Greek. So we say CHRISTmas [sic]” Yet in modern English vernacular, there is a widespread consensus that a large portion of our words find their origin in Greek, Latin, and French.
Most people have no problem, per se, using words which are direct transliterations from other languages. The proud graduate speaks highly of their alma mater while being a proud alumnus, even though they graduated cum laude because they were hyper in their grammar class. It doesn’t impact their psyche in the least when they question the modus operandi of another Christian brother or sister. Most think their theological magnum opus is the anger filled thesis left in the Facebook comments section.
There are many situations about which we can join together and fight on the front lines. But whether a person says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” does not a Christian culture make. If the extent of your evangelism hinges upon the amount of people you can convert to the proper seasonal salutations, then the issue does not rest upon greetings- but in your own heart.
P.S. (post script) – My hope is that this memo will filter out into the media and ipso facto begins a revolution in our understanding of the importance of origins. You can help by sharing this on your favorite social media outlet!
Soli Deo Gloria