Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nothing Wrong with Xmas

It has already begun.  The annual campaign to X out Xmas, perpetrated mostly by well intentioned Christians.  In case you don't know, I am a Christian and have been for at least 48 years.  I have thankfully had a good education and have benefited from pastors that were well educated.  
So you see it irks me every year when I am bombarded by emails and pleas to 'like' a page on facebook touting the "Keep Christ in Christmas" agenda.  
I have no issue with anyone who wants to write out the word Christmas instead of Xmas, to each his own.  But if you are going to raise this banner and smack it in everyone's face, at least know of what you speak.  
X is the Greek first letter of the word Christ and has been used as a symbol for the word Christ for about 2000 years by believers.  So technically there is nothing 'wrong' with Xmas and it is not keeping Christ out of it in any way, it is taking us back to the roots of the faith.
The word Christmas has been used since the 12th century and comes from the Anglo Saxon words Christes Maesse  or Christ's Mass, so Christmas is already a shortened form as is Xmas and makes me wonder why we have all the fuss.  It is probably just an over-reaction to all the commercialism, but please stop drawing attention to it and maybe it will go away for lack of response.
Know what else irks me at this season?  The fact that all the hype, now beginning before Thanksgiving, leads up to one day, December 25th, and then is promptly over and done with, the decorations sadly tossed in the trash on December 26th.  
December 25th was picked as Christ's Nativity in the 4th century but it was not a one day holiday (holy day) but a cycle of feasts in the church calendar.  This is the 12 days of Christmastide, beginning Dec. 25 and ending on Twelfth Night Jan 6, also known as Epiphany in the west or the baptism of Christ in the east.   
And lets not forget Santa...or as he is properly called, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Turkey.  He was a real person, a bishop of the church and his saint day or feast day is celebrated not on December 25th but on December 6th.
Besides all that, the Christmas/Xmas season was chosen to coincide with the pagan festivals in order to try to win the people over to Christianity.  Many of the Christian holy days were pagan holy days first as many of the Christian symbols were pagan symbols first.
So you see after all these many hundreds of years things morph a bit and some things get smooshed together and others get lost almost entirely.  No matter how you celebrate the holy days of Christmastide at least now you will have an inkling as to why and I can now get off my well worn soapbox.

1 comment:

Lord Wellbourne said...

Excellent post and blue ribbon winner in the soap box derby!

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