You may have observed that it's a common practice to abbreviate Christmas as Xmas. By now, most of us are used to reading Xmas as Christmas, but ever wondered the reason why the letter is used instead of "Christ" in the word Christmas? It is also the time of the year when messages like "Keep Christ in Christmas," keep popping up on social media and outside churches. But ever wondered why "X" in Xmas? Didn't we have enough of "X" finding mysteries in mathematics? Is there really any relation between math and Christmas? Well, none. Christmas 2018: Why Do We Build A Snowman on Xmas?
Why X in Xmas?
The X actually comes from the Greek letter Chi. The Greek word for Christ is denoted by first letter X. In 300 AD, the Greeks abbreviated Christ as X. Roman emperor Constantine I used the X reference to denote Christ. In the year 1551, the Oxford English Dictionary used Xmas as a word to mean Christmas. Know Why It Is Correct to Wish 'Merry Christmas' and Not 'Happy Christmas'.
While it may not make a huge difference in greeting Merry Xmas or Merry Christmas, some people think that Xmas is a non-religious version. One of the misconceptions associated with the word Xmas state that it was used deliberately to take out the religious angle from Christmas, which is why we see the quotes, 'Keep Christ in Christmas.' So placing of X letter in the word Christmas is also considered as going against religious scholars. It became more like a cultural war between left and the Christian right. What Does the Number 65 in Chicken 65 Mean?
Today different style guides have their usage formats about Xmas. Those at the New York Times, The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC do not accept the use of Xmas. It is considered as an informal way of greeting. While it may seem a very trivial issue, it too has evolved with history. Wishing you all a Merry Xmas or Christmas, as you prefer.