Earlier this month, I read a well written, eloquent comment on a Facebook discussion about X-Mas. I even learned something from it.
Regrettably, i cant find it again, probably because the original thread was deleted, due to the FB profile’s owner not enjoying being owned by an old lady while on the interwebs.
Therefore, You’ll just have to deal with me copypasta’ing a few wiki articles together and adding my own comments.
Oh Noes, dont take Christ out of Christmas and replace him with an X.
Oh, but wait…
“Xmas” is a common abbreviation of the word “Christmas”. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but it, and variants such as “Xtemass”, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for “Mass”,while the “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as “Christ”.
There is a common misconception that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”.
The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used.