Many people think that writing "Xmas" eliminates Christ from Christmas. However, that is not the case at all. Some people admit that they think writing Xmas is a secular way of removing Christ from the equation. People with this thought are misinformed. Writing the abbreviation does not remove the holiness from the celebrated day of Christ's birth.

What 'Xmas' means

When people see "Xmas" written, they know it is the abbreviation for the word Christmas. Those who don't know Greek will not know that the "X" stands for the Greek letter Chi which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ.

That X has come all the way through church history as the shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.

That takes care of the "X." So, what about the "mas" at the end of the word? The "mas" part is simply short for the word for mass. Writing Xmas dates back to the 16th century when Christians favored using symbols instead of words whenever possible. Unfortunately, this has not been understood by some people over the years.

People who have spoken out about Xmas

New Hampshire Governor Meldrim Thomson notified journalists in 1977 to keep Christ in Christmas by not writing Xmas. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, spoke out about Xmas in 2005. The evangelist told CNN that secularists are trying to take Christ out of the holiday.

He added that they want the holiday, but they just don't want Christ in the holiday.

Journalist Roland Martin has the same view as Graham and has also spoken out about the abbreviation as a sign that people are removing Christ from the celebration. Martin contends that since Christmas is one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, the entire word should be written to show respect.

Rules about Xmas

Even though Xmas is accepted in informal writing, it is never accepted in formal writing. It should never be used in greeting cards or in the headlines of newspapers and magazines.

The debate has been going on for many years, and it seems like it will continue for many more years to come. While people are entitled to their own opinion, it would be nice if they researched and found out the real reason the abbreviation is used. After researching, they will discover that writing Xmas does not minimize the true meaning of the holiday. It is not rude, disrespectful, or an attempt to remove Christ from Christmas.

What do you think about writing Xmas in lieu of writing Christmas? Do you believe it is disrespectful?