• David Lee Brown

The Origin of X-mas


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

I have a habit of researching anything and everything that sparks my interest. I have to know the truth. I have taught myself to never just listen, watch or read with mindless acceptance. I have to look it up and find the truth.

Over this wonderful Christmas season I heard several people, including my pastor, say, “It’s not X-mas its Christmas!” Now, while esthetically I like the look of Christmas much better than the look of X-mas and I agree that we should all try to keep Christ in Christmas, being dogmatic about it isn’t necessarily right either. In the Greek language, the capital letter X has been used to represent Christ for centuries. The Christian Emperor Constantine had the Chi Rho symbol emblazoned across his and his troop’s helmets and shields. He wanted to carry Christ into battle with him for protection and to demonstrate his faith. The fish symbol with and without ICHTUS spelled out in Greek capital letters has also been used for centuries to show our faith in Christ and the X in the symbol represents Christ. Therefore, while I agree that we should spell out Christmas whenever possible, dogmatically rejecting X-mas as non-Christian or heretical is not a great idea. For centuries the Greek capital letter X has equaled Christ (X=Christ) within Christianity. So, if a business must use X-mas, because of lack of space for signage, we should not condemn or boycott them, but be understanding and gracious (as Christ would be).

As I said before, I would still like to see Christmas spelled out as often as possible, but knowing what I know now, I will not demand it in situations that require brevity.