Merry Christmas or Merry X-Mas?

I really don’t know where to post this question/poll–but put it here hopefully it gets a good response.

Is Merry X-mas anti-Christian. Someone told me the other day that it has an ancient Greek meaning behind it. Which i guess i can see, because it is the Chi-roh (the abbreviation or first couple letters of Christ in Greek.)

But here in the modern day world i still think it is taking Christ out of Christmas.

What do you think?

Of course this would mostly be in the written form not spoken.

I really don’t see a problem using either one. For me Merry X-Mas is fairly informal and Merry Christmas is formal. Depending on the setting and what I’m writing for depends on which one I use. Either way I think most people would understand what you meant.


In the same way that writing a year “B.C.” is taking the Christ out of Before Christ, or writing someone’s religious order as “H.S.C.” is taking Jesus out of the Hospitaller Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is nothing wrong with abbreviations, when used properly.

I don’t see anything wrong with the abbreviation as long as that’s all it is. There are those who do it out of beligerence, though. Like those immature atheists who also use the word xian.

What many people don’t realize is that “X” is actually a long-accepted abbreviation for “Christ”. “X” is the first letter in the Greek spelling of “Christos” (Messiah) and was long used to represent the name of Christ. Only recently has this seemed to be forgotten and viewed as showing disrespect, as in “Xmas.”

Using any word, full or abbreviated, out of belligerence should be avoided in most cases. There is nothing wrong with the abbreviation Xian either (I used it frequently when taking notes in religion and theology classes), even when used by immature atheists, so long as one is not using it out of belligerence or in an inappropriate setting.


what is this talk about Xian? what does that mean?

As Dixieeagle noted above, X is the symbol for Christ. Here is an article about the Chi-Rho. We also see its use in the “ichthys” (ΙΧΘΥΣ) abbreviation and resulting symbol. There is also the fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi, which is an abbreviation for Brothers Under Christ. Many Christians, especially those in the East, use the abbreviation ICXC which uses the first and last letters of each word in the name Jesus Christ in Greek.

Xian is therefore an abbreviation for Christian. I have also seen it written Xtian. I’m not sure if there is any grammatical reason to include the “t,” but to me including more letters defeats the purpose of abbreviating.

You can use both, but the best to use Merry Christmas. Look at this way it was Mary(Merry) that gave us Christ, and if you take away the s from Christmas you have Christ ma. Do you get it?

“X-mas” is a good way to evangelize to those that don’t know what it means.

I like to write it as “X-mass”. That way the extra “s” causes more inquiries in which can be explained that it is the birth of Christ Mass.

This is correct. I was not able to vote in the poll because this was not mentioned in any of the poll choices. In fact, the inscription on the crucifix in Eastern churches is ICXC, which is the same thing as INRI but in Greek rather than Latin.

I remember hearing of the dispute 35 years ago, which in the history of Christianity is just a blink of the eye, but its been long enough that people should have gotten the message. I think the anti-Xmas controversy is maintained by Protestant groups which do not value tradition.

Personally I prefer Merry Christmas - it’s all about Christ. I feel the same way when people say Happy Holidays, so as not to offend anyone. Just my :twocents:, though.

The New Testament Greek alphabet has a letter equal to an ‘x’, and it is not chi. The letter Chi in the Greek alphabet is equal to our English ‘ch’. So, x mas is not the right abbreviation, that right abbreviation would be ‘ch-mas’.

Merry Christmas!

I always thought that Xmas was just a quick abreviation, no negetive context to Jesus Christ.

In terms of appearance, though–the Greek letter in question looks like the English “X” (rather like how the “rho” looks more like the English “P” despite the sound) … and similar to how the Russian alphabet has letters that look like the English B (but is pronounced “V”) H (but is pronounced “N”), C (is always “S”), P (is pronounced “R”) and X (the Kh sound at the beginning of Nikita Khrushchev’s surname).

So, X-mas would be a correct abbreviation, but it is incorrect to pronounce it as “eks-mas”. But in speech, abbreviations really only make sense if they’re both familiar enough that people know what the abbreviation stands for and shorter than whatever the abbreviation stands for (example–“USA” and even “UK” makes sense in speech; “NY” for New York a little less so (it takes the same time to pronounce abbreviation and full words–full words are, IMO, preferable due to issues of clarity); IOU cannot be audibly distinguished from “I owe you”; X-mas and Christmas are (abbreviation properly pronounced) likewise too close to tell and also fall into that “not really shortening” category for speech (writing being a completely different matter). I do think that X-mas is very informal (but there are times and places where such informality is appropriate).

And as far as holiday greetings–I take mine in the spirit offered. And that said: Merry Christmas, everyone!


My Greek professors would have had a heart attack if I had used facts so wrongly. Like anyone else, facts when presented and are as such, need to be respected. Appearances can be wrong, can’t they. It is fact that prevents us from falling to appearances.

Is it like the guy who thought he was in love until she turned around and he saw the facts?
lol I’m just kidding, there is a place for abb., it just with our Savior it is hard for me to deal with the x thing.

Thanks for sharing! Merry Ch-mas! lol

I think it is much ado about nothing…as I understand the “X” is the Greek letter “chi” which stands for “Christ” in some Christian iconagraphy…“Χριστός” .

IMO…I beleive it would be better to use the opportunity of addressing the “chi”“X” as a “teaching opportunity” about Christ than a lamentation about “taking Christ out of Christmas” by using the “chi”. Question…when the “chi/rho” is displayed, is it assumed automatically that the “X” is “x-ing out” the “P”?

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