I may have heard the objection a thousand times, living here in Arkansas: “They’re trying to ‘X’ out the ‘Christ’ from ‘Christmas!'”
Such people have apparently never heard of one of the most ancient Christian symbols in existence (and still in heavy use):
Chi and rho are the first two letters one uses to spell “Christ” in Greek, the original language of most of the New Testament. It makes much more sense to interpret the “X” in “Xmas” as a reference to Christ, through the “chi” in the “Chi Rho” symbol, rather than some insidious plot to eliminate Christ from this holiday — a holiday with a history that, as many people know, predates Christ by centuries, anyway.
Of course, those people who object to “Xmas” don’t know about the Greek letter chi, or the fact that it looks just like an “X,” as used in English, or that the two letters represent very different sounds. There’s no shame in simple ignorance, curable as it is by education. However, I would wager that most of those who object to “Xmas” also do not want to know these things, either, and in that, there is shame. Not wanting one’s own ignorance to be replaced by knowledge is an excellent definition for stupidity.
Great historical perspective.
Why, thank you! I’m not the first to try to lay this misconception to rest, but I wish I could be the last.
According to some experts, Christ was not even born on Christmas day.