Current weather

  • Few clouds
  • 57°
    Few clouds
  • Comment

Keep X in Christmas

Posted: December 22, 2013 - 12:09am

In this holiday season, may goodwill and good cheer flow abundantly from your home. May your heart overflow with charity for your fellow man. May you not put your ignorance on public display like Meldrim Thomson during the 12 Days of Christmas – or any other time of the year.

Don’t be a Merry Meldrim.

Meldrim was governor of New Hampshire in 1977 at the time of his public display of ignorance. He sent a press release to journalists asking them keep Christ in Christmas by not using Xmas in place of Christmas. He claimed Xmas is a pagan spelling, a horrible four-letter word.

Since childhood, I’ve listened to Christians decry Xmas. They’ve ballyhooed about nonbelievers crossing Christ out of Christmas. They’ve hurled accusations at the secular world for attempts to use Xmas to over-commercialize Christmas.

Xmas was not manufactured in a toy shop. It was passed to us by our Victorian ancestors, the very people who made Christmas the grand, elaborate holiday it is today. They elevated its nostalgia and romance to proportions that modern mortals struggle to emulate annually, and they signed their Christmas Cards with Xmas, meaning no disrespect to Jesus by the action. The Victorians were not pagans, and though they reinvented Christmas, they did not conceive Xmas. They simply used an abbreviation handed down through the ages.

Meldrim’s aids failed him. Lots of papers and books passed across Meldrim’s official desk, but an Associated Press Style Guide never did. Advertisers might use the abbreviation Xmas to make room for more information in a limited space, but a good journalist always spells it out.

Before the advent of the printing press, however, this was not the case. Transcribing religious texts longhand required the use of abbreviations for efficiency. Though the printing press later streamlined producing multiple copies, the process remained cumbersome and common abbreviations stood. Christ was abbreviated using the Greek symbols for chi (X) and for rho (P), which together made the first two sounds in the word, Christ, and were overlaid to create the chi-rho symbol or christogram.

Y’all southerners know it as a monogram; the chi-rho christogram is Christ’s monogram. To expedite writing, the chi symbol (X) was frequently used alone to represent the word Christ, such as in Xtians (Christians) and Xmas (Christmas).

Early Xtians were not rabblerousing about this usage. Too bad Meldrim did. I expect more from a graduate of the University of Georgia raised in the South. We all should expect more.

Meldrim was right about something, though. Christ is in danger of losing his place of prominence in Christmas. But it is not the letter X that threatens to replace him. Eating, drinking, shopping, partying and creating human perfection in red and evergreen take his place in our lives beginning around Thanksgiving. Christmas has Santa, elves, greeting cards, snowmen, twinkling light displays, stockings and tinsel. But where is Christ? On Dec. 26, just as he has symbolically come into the world again to bring us hope, we snatch down decorations and throw Christmas into boxes.

Let’s not lose sight of what we’re celebrating. No one can X-out Christ. Christ is the alpha, the omega and the X. Christ is always there in Xmas, even for people who believe that by using an X they’ve made sure he’s not.

  • Comment

Comments (7)

soapy_725

An innocent mistake gone astray? Only God knows for sure.

Like the one where the German word for Christ Child, Christkindl, became Kris Kringle, which became Santa Claus. From Jesus to Santa Claus. Isn't it amazing how few steps it takes to fall into the ditch of Satan's deceit.

Danny06

Christmas greetings

Christmas is a enjoyful experience for every body.Every one wants to
wish Christmas in their greetings cards so we have best & unique style messages
for Chrismas eve.So get through our site and wish to your close ones

wilsonfink

Christmas New Year Wishes

From Windsor Castle, the popularity of the tree spread rapidly, becoming even more popular in the US than it was in England, and now the Christmas tree is practically synonymous with Christmas, though they were banned by the Puritans for being too pagan in its symbolism.
Christmas New Year Wishes
Christmas And New Year Messages

Tedmark

Christmas brings lot of happiness for everyone

Christmas brings lot of happiness for everyone... only 29 days remaining in Christmas event , so here is the collection of Merry Christmas Sms send these messages to your friends.. Happy Christmas Wishes

Alfred

In the untimely middle Ages,

In the untimely middle Ages, Christmas Day was overshadowed by Epiphany, which in western Christianity alert on the appointment of the magi. But the medieval chart was conquered by Christmas-related holidays. Merry Christmas Sms Wishes - Christmas Sms Messages

Stone006

Christmas Day Messages

The demand of Christmas greetings messages is very high during Christmas. Now winter season has come and people are busy in their Christmas preparation. Now this year we are offering you here huge and top collection of Christmas greetings messages. We are sure our collection will inspire you.

Christmas Day Sms Messages

Bevan

Christmas is a time

Christmas is a time of love and affection and every year it bring lots of happiness. On this day people search Christmas Wishes and send it to others and make them happy with their wishes.

Follow News-Times:

News-Times Video »

CONTACT US

  • Main: 706-868-1222
  • Fax: 706-823-6062
  • Email: cnt@newstimesonline.com
  • 4272 Washington Rd, Suite 3B, Evans, Ga. 30809

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES