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Is X-mas an attempt to take Christ out of Christmas?

Happy Holidays! Seasons Greetings.  Holiday Tree.  For years our increasingly secular culture has worked hard to expunge “Christ” from “Christmas.”

So it is understandable that serious Christians would be suspicious of using “Xmas” to refer to the feast of Christ’s birth.

But keep in mind that the X in Xmas is not an English letter X. It is the Greek letter “Chi” which in English is “CH” and as such is part of the ancient Catholic monogram for Christ, the Chi-Ro that we see often on altars, chalices, etc. It looks like a “P” with and “X” superimposed on the stem of the “P,” but it is really the equivalent in Greek of the first three letters of Christ– CH and R.

So originally “X-mas” was not intended to knock Christ out of Christmas but is simply an abbreviation of “Christ”-mas. It derives not from some modern secular agenda, but an ancient Christian custom of representing the name of our Lord with a Greek monogram.

For more great resources for Christmas, visit the Christmas – Incarnation section of the Crossroads Initiative Library.

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Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

From a colorful and varied background as a professor of theology, a father of five, business owner, and professional performer Marcellino D’Ambrosio (aka “Dr. Italy”) crafts talks, blog posts, books, and videos that are always fascinating, practical, and easy to understand.  He is a popular speaker, TV and radio personality, New York Times best-selling author, and pilgrimage host who has been leading people on a journey of discovery for over thirty years.  For a fuller bio and video, visit the Dr. Italy page.