“Xmas” or “Christmas”?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Origin of Christmas

One of the arguments that always has a way of rearing its head during the end of the year festivities is that of the perceived attempt to remove Christ out of Christmas (Xmas). This argument is closely followed by another: Is Christmas itself a Christian or pagan celebration?

While I can’t give authoritative answers to the second, there is an explanation for the first.

X ("chi" pronounced "kye" – rhyming with eye) is a letter in the Greek alphabets. The complete twenty-four letters (each in uppercase and lowercase forms) of the Greek alphabets are:

Α α, Β β, Γ γ, Δ δ, Ε ε, Ζ ζ, Η η, Θ θ, Ι ι, Κ κ, Λ λ, Μ μ, Ν ν, Ξ ξ, Ο ο, Π π, Ρ ρ, Σ σ/ς, Τ τ, Υ υ, Φ φ, Χ χ, Ψ ψ, and Ω ω.

You probably recognize some mathematical symbols like theta, written as θ, and pi, written as π.

How It Became Part of Christianity
In the days of the early church in Rome, being openly Christian was frowned upon. There was a wide persecution of Christians and adherents had to communicate with each other secretly. Abbreviations were used and one of them was to represent X for Christ.

Basically, Xmas is a Greek abbreviation of Christmas. They mean the same thing, just a different language.


There are lots of language systems around the world. English language is only one of them. Our perception of things will be better improved if we can look at things beyond the English language and beyond our own cultures.

Is Christmas itself a Christian or pagan celebration? Click To Tweet

Also, this case is one of the challenges of abbreviations - they leave room for controversy in meaning. In this case, it is a good cause but the meaning got lost over time. Surely you can think of other abbreviations whose meanings cause controversy. LOL (😉)

Anyway, Christmas, whether as a Christian or not, is not a time to argue. It is a time to spread love, show kindness and spend time with those we love. It is also a good time to express gratitude for how far you have come, for little mercies and for the days to come.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment