Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas; Or Happy Holidays, Xmas?

At this time of year some Christians write articles saying the use of holiday and Xmas, instead of Christmas is just fine. After all, “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the “X” is an abbreviation of the Greek name of Christ. Some say early Christians, under persecution, used the “X” as a secretive way of referring to Christ and Christianity. I disagree. 

I understand “Happy Holidays” is sometimes used to include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. However, it is also often used to be politically correct and so no one will be offended by the “Christ” in “Christmas.” It is regularly used to secularize Christmas. As a comedian said, “I’m dreaming of a secularized generic holiday.”

I also agree that some Christians can get obnoxious in arguing with store clerks about Christmas. Please use a winsome attitude in wishing someone a Merry Christmas!

I still like “Christmas” as being more understandable, meaningful, and descriptive than “Holiday” and “Xmas.”

A holiday can be as much Presidents Day or Columbus Day as Christmas. Very few would ever stop and consider, or know, that the word began as “Holy Day.” To most it just means a day off work. Holiday has become a generic term.

We may derive comfort that to a very few the X stands for Christ.

But the X seems to be just as secretive today as it may have been in the first or second centuries.

I doubt one in a hundred knows or considers, “Oh, the X in Xmas stands for Jesus Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem.”

I also doubt many know much about the ancient Greek language.

Abbreviations are often not understood, so why not take the time and effort to write it out?

Many more Americans understand the name Christ, rather than understand the name “X.”

To many, “X” stands for the unknown. Others may view Xmas as X-ing out the name of Christ.

I would not recommend an evangelistic preacher to go around preaching about X. They might think you’re talking about Malcolm.

So while I may not angrily protest, I do prefer stores have the courage to actually use the word Christmas. Recently I heard the Houston mayor speak of the city “Holiday Tree.” And yes, I suspect she was trying to not offend atheists, non-Christians (who usually have no problem with using the word Christmas), and to be politically correct.

So to all I wish you a Merry Christmas!

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 18, AD (In the Year of Our Lord) 2014.

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More articles / Labels in lower right margin. 

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