Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

#112 CHRISTmas instead of Xmas

xmas1a.jpgThe campaign to override Xmas with Christmas is brought to you by the aforementioned Keeping Christ in Christmas movement. It’s never more frenetic than at this time of year.

Pro-Christmas campaigners very much dislike Xmas. They will call you out if you use it and they are sure to write CHRISTmas on their Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invite (often in papyrus font, as above). Although X has been used for centuries as a sanctioned abbreviation for ??????? (Greek for Christ), Christian culture has a sneaking suspicion this is really a calculated method to nudge Christ out of his own holiday.


Even their beloved C. S. Lewis endorsed the use of Xmas over Christmas for brevity’s sake, but Christian culture insists that you should write the word in its entirety. The reasoning they commonly cite is that “Christ made room for you, so you should make room for him.”

Their logic follows that writing five extra letters is the least you can do in exchange for his grisly crucifixion. And so once again, in a pitfall of Christian culture, a superficial patch job is substituted for inventory of the heart.

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Ada R.Orange

posted December 21, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Yeah,that’s true! Don’t write X-mas instead of Christmas because it’s just like you’re crossing Jesus out of his own birthday celebration.And no! It’s not about gifts and presents,it’s about the rising and overwhelming love that God had for us to send his son to save us from our sins.Now as for presents,that should only be for the little kids because they’re not old enough to understand yet,until they are taught by good parents.In today’s society,there is a limited amount of good mothers and fathers!Let’s keep it real and shame the devil.I’m OUT.

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posted December 22, 2009 at 12:55 am

My favourite form of Christmas nutbaggery has to be the santa/satan conspiracy theorists.
I’m noticing that the latest trend from the secular world is to run the line that Christmas took over a pagan solstice holiday – as a Christian who is quite comfortable with the idea that we let the pagans keep their holiday while rebranding it as a PR exercise – I’m wondering how widespread the notion that Jesus was born on December 25 is… perhaps this is just an American thing?

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posted December 22, 2009 at 9:22 am

Nathan, I think most Christians, in their honest moments, will admit that we don’t have any idea when Jesus was born; which year let alone which day. Some time ago I did hear that they arrived at the 25 December by assuming that Jesus must have been and exact number of years old when he was crucified (what a way to spend your birthday) so count back 9 months on the old calendars and you end up at the end of December. This is, of course, conveniently close to the winter solstice so it was possible to add Christmas on to existing ancient festivals.
Does any of this worry me? No. It’s is a good idea to have one time of the year to celebrate the wonder of the incarnation so 25 December is a good as any. Besides we all need a good party to cheer us up in the middle of winter (with apologies to those south of the equator)

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posted December 22, 2009 at 10:02 am

Yes, Christians in the fourth century began to celebrate the birth of Jesus at the solstice as a way of making the point that with the birth of Jesus, divine light returned to the world. The days begin getting longer again as of today; and all ancient peoples saw symbolism and moral meaning in everything, especially in things such as the solstice.
Some people see this as “stealing,” but as a historian I can tell you that everybody everywhere in the ancient world borrowed from each other. That includes other religions borrowing from Christianity in return. It’s a natural phenomenon in human history. Besides, “stealing” implies deprivation–the pagans lost something and weren’t able to get it back. That’s simply not true.

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posted December 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

BTW, it should be “five letters” (hrist), not “four.” Not to be picky.

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stephanie drury

posted December 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

Thanks Steve, it hit me in the middle of the night it’s five letters not four. haha!

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posted December 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I grew up in an anti-Xmas environment, and I find it odd that, to that breed of Christian, “C-mas” is an acceptably pious abbreviation, although to my knowledge “C” historically stands for nothing but itself (or maybe “cookie”). And what about the abbreviation YHWH? It was once considered impious NOT to abbreviate God’s name…
Well said, Steve. I have always appreciated how Christianity’s (historical) flexibility in incorporating the celebrations, festivals and practices of other religions and cultures allows for freedom in the expression of cultural diversity, an establishment of commonalities amidst that diversity, and opportunities for heterogeneous ways of thinking to interact and develop new methods for understanding truth and practicing love.
“Inventory of the heart” – thanks, Stephy. That was timely spoken.

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George, American

posted December 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm

“Christ made room for you, so you should make room for him.”
Those stupid little slogans are the exact reason why I will never, ever become an evangelical christian.

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posted December 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm


posted December 22, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Steve, you’re right. People do need to lighten up on the whole “Christians stole winter solstice” since yes, there was a lot of borrowing going on, left and right. I think that retort comes off so strong though because after hearing all this “Jesus is the reason for the season”, “Put Christ back into Christmas” and of course “The war on Christmas”, the knee-jerk reaction once the winter solstice thing is reawakened is “Wait a minute…you STOLE winter solstice! He was NOT the reason for the season.” ….and so on.

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Rollo Tomassi

posted December 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm

I work with and have a number of Jewish friends, one of which invited me to his newborn son’s Brit Milah. He was kind enough to give me (a humble gentile) a pamphlet on the Biblical significance of the ceremony written by a Mohel or a Rabbi I assume. One thing that I noticed is that Jews, still to this day, never write out the word “God” in reverence, opting rather to add a hyphen in place of the ‘O’.
“And G-d spoke to Abraham saying,…”
Now, granted, most evangelicals I know are usually too ignorant of their own religion to appreciate this, but I wonder if a case couldn’t be made for Xing out ‘Christ’ for similar reverence? If nothing else you could make a convincing counter argument that Christians are technically, scripturally, sinning by writing out the full name of God.

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Andrew Holliday

posted December 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm

hahaha, someone beat me to the papyrus comment! This would be the first time have ever written on the blog. I am from Canada(Vancouver) and see a lot, not all, but alot of what you talk about here Stephanie. Love your blog, I check it almost daily!

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posted December 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Uh, it’s not like the Christians let the pagans still have their holiday. The church actively forced people to convert and if not convert, then to kill them.
So when people get worked up about the “War on Christmas” (people saying Happy Holidays, etc) it is difficult not to have a knee-jerk reaction to its inanity.

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Rocky Presley

posted December 22, 2009 at 9:42 pm

What I love about the host location of this blog is that you can find so much fodder for more posts! Today, I was tempted with “Framed Inspirational Art.” Come on Stephanie, get er done!
I am bring the MAS back in Christmas. By mas, I mean the Spanish word more, which I am certain dates back to the original translation. We need more flying angels in Christmas productions, big ass Christmas trees, offended people over having to share a holiday with other religions, ridiculously packed malls in predominantly Christian, white suburban areas, holiday traffic, and because I have to deal with all of this during Christmas, more Jack Daniels.

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posted December 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

Rocky- It is after all that time of year. Please get yourself something a little better than mere Jack Daniels. Please, A lovely single malt would do you well. Don’t skimp. Please have a completely irreligious, non-faith specific, mid-winter holiday.

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posted December 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm


posted December 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

So why cant such a powerful GOD start his own birthday celebration instead of taking over Sacred and traditional days of the pagans or other religions. There are at least 30 and more mythological gods who have used Dec 25th as their own birthdays…it would make sense only in that Jesus IS a mythological god himself. Mithras is the reason for the season also—. (the god just before Jesus who was honored on Dec 25th with a virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection.)
I say… Do something original and leave our pagan holydays alone.

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posted December 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm

@ Rebelgal:
Sigh. See my comments above. Same for ziboskwitz.

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posted December 24, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Don’t take the Sol Invictus out of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti!

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stephanie drury

posted December 24, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Hahahaha Kenneth!

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David Ellis Dickerson

posted December 26, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I’ve long wanted to create a bumper sticker that says “Put THOR back into THURSDAY!” Talk about being totally taken for granted…

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elissa parrish

posted December 29, 2009 at 1:26 am

i think it is so ridiculous that christians think the christmas is about jesus and his birthday anyways… it’s not his birthday and every tradition linked to the holiday is pagan… let’s celebrate our pagan holiday and leave jesus out of it! i

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posted January 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm

“i think it is so ridiculous that christians think the (sic) christmas is about jesus…”
Wow, you’re right. Even though the word Christmas is derived from the word Christ, AS IN JESUS CHRIST, still it’s totally ridiculous to think that Jesus has anything to do with it. Totally ridiculous. I mean, totally and completely. Ri-di-cu-lous.

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posted January 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

I love a certain theologian that uses Twitter and abbrivates Christ everytime with an X
so Christian = Xtian and Christmas is of course Xmas.
But hey when you’ve only got 140 characters somethings gotta go.
Of course I am not sure if anyone has given him any flack about it.
Love the post, keep it coming!

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posted January 7, 2010 at 1:53 am

it’s not his birthday and every tradition linked to the holiday is pagan… let’s celebrate our pagan holiday and leave jesus out of it! i

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posted January 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I totally object to the term X-ray. It takes the Christ out of Christ-ray. I also think we should go back to referring to the XBox as the Christbox. I also blame the manger fiasco on Joseph. I mean who shows up in Bethlehem on Christmas eve looking for a room without a reservation? Honestly!

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stephanie drury

posted January 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Hahahaha Chap!

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posted January 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

As an amateur Hagiographer, I object to the weird subversion of St Nicholas! The truth is that he was Bishop of Myra (in present day Turkey). He likely rarely saw snow. Never saw a reindeer or sleigh. He was likely of a swarthy hue. The legend goes that a man in town had three daughters. They were poor and having no dowry for marriage, were likely headed for a life of prostitution. Nicholas wanted to preserve their virtue and tossed (on three separate occasions) sacks of gold for dowry through the window of their dwelling allowing them to marry. So we should at Christmas, honor St. Nicholas by giving money to a local prostitute to give up the biz and mend her life. He probably did have a beard. He also probably wore a lot of red.

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posted January 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

Eyeglasses – Chap,
I feel that just because Christians hid under pagan rituals just to avoid persecution does not give them the right to discredit the fact that we are celebrating Jesus birthday when we give gifts to each other to honor the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. You celebrate Christmas for your reasons and I’ll celebrate for mine. Hopefully when you get to the gates of heaven and sit in the Bema seat the shock won’t be too terrible for you since you can’t say ‘Nobody told me!’ You HAVE been told! Good luck with your choice. I choose Christ-mas over X-mas any day. Thank you Stephanie for your site, I enjoy it immensely!

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Zion Mystic

posted February 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

“So we should at Christmas, honor St. Nicholas by giving money to a local prostitute to give up the biz and mend her life.”
that actually sounds like a good idea.
I think the X is actually from the first letter of Christ in Greek, which looks like an X. So it’s not crossing Christ out.

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posted February 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

This is a bit late, but Bryanna, Christians did NOT hide their celebrations of Jesus’ birth under pagan festivals. The association of December 25 with the birth of Jesus didn’t come in until the Christians were well and truly on the way to taking over.

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