Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Who took the 'X' out of Xmas?

Wick's World


Many misinformed people are led to believe that the use of the shortened version "Xmas" for Christmas is a secular tool for waging the manufactured “War on Christmas.” It is true that the shortened version takes Christ out of the word Christmas. After all, for Christians, isn’t the celebration of the birth of Christ what the month of December is supposed to focus on? I readily agree that for Christians and Christianity, they are correct.

However, the use of the term Xmas did not begin as an effort by liberals and secularists to take Christ out of Christmas. For several reasons, the term Xmas was used as early as the 15th Century. The shortening of the word Christmas to Xmas was partially an effort to save space on the very expensive parchment that was used for printing during that time. As far back as 1021, “The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle” substituted the letters "xp" or "xt" for Christ. In addition, some say it is no coincidence that X resembles a cross.

However, other religions also use the month of December for religious purposes. The term “happy holidays” is simply an effort to include those of us who are either of other faiths or beliefs and not necessarily Christians. I am simply stating my point of view that a secular “War on Christmas” does not exist and that no one religion should be allowed to isolate an entire season of the year for their spiritual beliefs alone.

In my opinion, Buddhists have the right to celebrate Bodhi Day on December 8. The Jewish faith celebrates their eight-day festival of Chanukah or Hanukkah at this time of year. What would we do about Santa who celebrates Saint Nicholas Day on December 6?

Historically, the man called Jesus Christ was most likely not born on the 25th or even in the month of December. If one takes Biblical verse, stories and tales and combines them with scientific knowledge such as herding, weather and the placement of stars, it appears most likely that Jesus was born in the summer or early fall. Arguably, one of the most highly developed spiritual humans born on this planet Earth in the last two millennia was a man named Jesus Christ. But other religions have a right to claim their own different entities such as Buddha, Mohammed, Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda, etc.

We realize, historically speaking, that on December 25, it was highly unlikely that there were “shepherds watching their flock by night” as stated in the Bible. In the month of December in the part of the world where Jesus was born, sheep, like typical Minnesotans were "penned up" trying to stay warm. In addition, travelers, especially ones with a newborn baby, would not be on the road to Bethlehem to participate in the Roman Census during December. In fact, for weather related reasons, the Roman Census was always taken in the summer.

Nowhere in the Bible is the date of Jesus’ birth given. In reality, the date of December 25 is widely thought to have been used as a compromise to bring the Pagans, who already used that day to celebrate the coming of the new season, to Christianity. I certainly do not mean to imply that we take Christ’s birthday and move it to late summer. The December economy would be anemic without it.

What would be the implications if we took the X out of Xmas? What remains is an abbreviated word "mas," which is the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass. It’s possible that some would approve of a shortened version of Mass in order to get home earlier and open the gifts from the Pagan Saint Nicholas.

One of the main promoters and boosters of the alleged “War on Christmas” is FOX News. By simply removing the X from Fox, we would have FO News. Their new moniker could stand for Fixed Opinion. You can see the unlimited opportunities here. For example, example could simply be ample. X-rated would become rated. Xylophone would be replaced by the similar nonsensical term ylophone. The prophet Malcolm X would be known as Malcolm and get his own TV series called “Malcolm in the Middle.”

In my highly opinionated view, rather than pretending to remove Christ from Christmas or the “X” from Xmas, let’s wish everyone a blessed month of December and if you have to complain about something, try the weather or the Minnesota Vikings; you can’t get it wrong.


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