Many individuals think that the X in Xmas is a standard watering down of the original word “Christ”. A sort of “we like celebrating the festive season but not the whole Jesus” thing.
Thus, Christmas is also occasionally known as Xmas. Some people don’t think it’s right to call Christmas ‘Xmas’ as that takes the ‘Christ’ (Jesus) out of Christmas.
Here is something, Christmas could come from Christ-Mass, the Church service where Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
On Etymology Online, we read that the abbreviation dates back to 1551, when it appeared as X’temmas. Around 1100, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle used Xres mæsse, where Xp- or Xr- corresponded to “Chr.”
In ancient times the church utilized the first two characters of Christos in the Greek alphabet ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ to create a monogram (symbol) to represent the name of Jesus – appearing like an X with a small p on the surface: ☧
Also, bear in mind that initially when two Christians would meet, one of these would pull out half a simple fish form and the other person attracted another half of the fish.
Here’s where it gets interesting, the word for fish is ‘Ikthus’ or ‘Ichthys’. There is a tendency to remove the strictly religious aspect from Christmas. This might be in pursuit of tolerance, and political correctness. One could argue that the materialism of contemporary society has obscured the meaning of Christmas.
Okay so Xmas can also imply Christmas; but it must also still be pronounced ‘Christmas’, if for no other reason than to demonstrate respect to believers of this religion. No matter your faith, you surely want the same courtesy extended to you. We must Speak Proper.
Merry Christmas to all.