Blog Entry

Christmas and Xmas

Christmas, which literally means the Mass of Christ, is celebrated in many countries throughout the world. The word is a contraction of Christ’s Mass. It is a holiday in Christian calendar which celebrates the birth of Jesus, usually observed on December 25. In United States, Christmas was declared as a federal holiday on June 26, 1870 by the government.

Another word which is used to denote Christmas is Xmas, and to many people the word is irreligious and even offensive. Such sentiment and concern about the word Xmas is expressed in Rush Limbaugh‘s radio show on December 13 by Paul W. Smith, who was the guest host filling in for Rush. But to me, previously, I always thought Xmas is merely a shortened term created to save typing or printing, but after a little bit of research online I have come to realize that it is quite opposite.

According to American Heritage Dictionary, the word Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing. X is from the Greek letter chi, which is the first letter of Christ in Greek. So to think the word usage is irreligious is completely wrong and misinformed. So here you go, thanks to my curiosity I got this clarified, and I hope you learned something from this entry too.

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