Tradition

Beware! Small soapbox ahead…

Xmas time is here.

Yes I spelled Christmas just like that, Xmas.

I was reprimanded in the past by a one time commenter about just that. Imagine.

A little history while we are on the title subject of tradition:

As a child in the 1960s and 1970s I was taught by my mother that Xmas was a perfectly acceptable way to write Christmas. She was not only a church going woman but a member of the choir, in good standing I might add. She wrote “Merry Xmas” on all of her cards when signing them, I noticed many cards we received were the same. I had never been told otherwise so when I was reprimanded via this here blog thingy’s comment section early in my blogging days I decided to investigate this hubaloo…

See this SMALL excerpt of what I find:
“The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”),.[1] The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧,[note 1] is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.[19]

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and the OED Supplement have cited usages of “X-” or “Xp-” for “Christ-” as early as 1485. The terms “Xtian” and less commonly “Xpian” have also been used for “Christian”. The OED further cites usage of “Xtianity” for “Christianity” from 1634.[1] According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, most of the evidence for these words comes from “educated Englishmen who knew their Greek”.[11]

In ancient Christian art, χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ’s name.[20] In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, Χ is an abbreviation for Χριστος,[21] as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma);[22] compare IC for Jesus in Greek.”

The relief I feel for not actually removing Christ from Xmas is absolutely liberating!

I can now continue my family’s tradition of writing Xmas.

I can also start a new tradition by re-posting one of my favorite performances of one of my favorite Xmas season holiday tunes ever…yeah!

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8 thoughts on “Tradition

  1. When I write out X-mas I always put a small bar through the centre of the X to make it a Chi and make it look suave and to bother those who take umbrage and “X”.

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