Keep X in Christmas

Many people take offense when the holiday on 25 December is referred to as Xmas, believing it ignores Jesus, whose birth it celebrates. Not so much.

One of the major hubs of early Christianity was Greece. The New Testament tells us that both St. Paul and St. Andrew (among others) preached in Greece. St. Andrew was crucified there, with his cross being in the shape of an “X”. Today, that shape is still referred to as Andrew’s Cross, such as in the flag of Great Britain.

The X is significant for a more important reason. The Greek word “Christos,” begins with the letter chi (pronounced “key”) followed by the letter rho. Perhaps you’ve seen the Chi Rho in a church or other religious site.

Christingles and other Christmas traditions | St Francis ...

Early Christians, when persecution began, would identify themselves to one another by doodling Christian symbols in the dirt with their walking sticks. To others, it was meaningless. It is believed among the symbols that Christians would recognize included a simple fish and the Chi Rho.

So, Merry Christo-mas!

3 responses to “Keep X in Christmas

  1. One of your best ever, Steve!!

  2. A “wonder-full” Christmas Holy-day season to you, Steve. The Birth, the X, and your mention of St. Andrew–which is my legal name–reminded of a tangential yet relevant story.

    When I was a kid of about age 5 on my birthday, dad asked me what mom was doing on the day of my birth. Wanting to be the correct genius I thought I was, I thought about the best possible answer for a minute or so and said: “Mom was out shopping at Macy’s.” Dad, mom and all of my 12 older brothers and sisters broke out in hilarious laughter. But I didn’t know why: I believed my answer was perfectly correct. Dog-gone dad: He revealed I wasn’t a genius and he ruined my birthday.

    Dad’s question of some 60 years ago is rather profound today: What was our mom–and dad–doing on the day of OUR birth? And during these holidays–“holy-days”–have we contemplated what Joseph and Mary were thinking, doing and feeling all the way until the Birth of Jesus?

    It’s a beautiful, glorious thought.

    • Rick,
      Great hearing from you. When we were younger, we tended to see our intellectual prowess differently than we do now. These days, I no longer claim to have the correct answers and am delighted if I even know some of the correct questions!

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