Thursday, December 24, 2009

Boycott XMas?

Recently I was driving to work and passed a church where I saw a sign that said "Boycott Xmas." It was followed by four more signs "Burma Shave style" proclaiming "love more," "buy less," "give more," and "worship wholly." At first glance the signs just didn't make sense. As I drove home later in the day, I saw the signs again and yes, I did agree that we should buy less, give more, and love more, and certainly I should worship my Lord wholly with all my heart, soul, and mind.

But "Boycott Xmas? I was somewhat offended by the message in front of a church. Why would I want to boycott Christmas? Don't Christians know that X is the Greek letter standing for Christ and that Xmas began as an abbreviation rather than an effort to take Christ out of Christmas? The Greek letter "X" has been used as a shortened form of Christ in many compounds, including Christmas, for more than 1000 years. Use of Xmas for Christmas goes back to the 18th century where the use of the Greek letter X was used for conciseness in many early writings. It was by no means devised by modern secularization to take Christ out of Christmas.

It bothers me that we as Christians have taken such offense at the use of Xmas in place of Christmas when we could be using it as a reminder of our Lord just as much as the word Christmas. I am not offended when I see the word "Xmas." Instead I see it as a shortened form of Christmas - often because there is not enough space to spell out the word. I would much rather see Xmas than the C-mas that I have seen at some places. At least X stands for Christ. Give me Xmas over "happy holidays," "season's greetings," and "winter holiday" anytime because I am reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. Let's stop decrying the use of Xmas and use it as an opportunity to proclaim to the world the X of Xmas - Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord!

So Merry Xmas to all of you! Enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus with your family and friends. Concentrate on the true "reason for the season." And be reminded to "buy less, give more, love more, and worship wholly." But please, don't boycott Xmas!