It seems like certain events mark the beginning of any given season. The end of school marks the beginning of summer, even though technically that doesn’t happen until nearly a month later.
It seems like certain debates spark or at least indicate the approaching Christmas season–namely, what I call the Christmas music debate and the “Xmas debate.”
The first, the Christmas music debate, is all about when is the appropriate time to start listening to Christmas music. I do have my own opinions for when it makes sense for stores and other public places to start playing the jolly tunes, but I don’t see the point in criticizing others for when they listen to it in private. If you don’t like what someone is listening to, don’t listen. If you don’t like what the radio is playing, turn the station. Why bother complaining about it or debating it year after year after year? I’m not saying don’t have an opinion about it, I’m wondering why it becomes such a big bruhaha each year.
The second Christmas-related debate is one that isn’t as silly as it is irritating. I understand the basis for it, but think those who get all up in arms about it are wasting their time.
I call this the “Xmas debate.”
We’ve all seen Christmas written as “Xmas.” This is done for a variety of reasons, including using less letters on a sign or in some other limited space. Some use it, I suppose, to show that they don’t think Christ is a part of Christmas. While I admit that could be the case in some extreme circumstances, I think this supposed motive is way overblown.
In fact, the use of Xmas started a long time ago…with Christ-centered roots. I found this information on http://answers.org/issues/isgodaginxmas.html and it reiterated what I had been taught for years:
The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of the Xmas abbreviation back to 1551 but its roots come well before that. In Early Christianity times, the words Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of Christian and Christianity.
“You see, the X in Xmas did not originate as our English alphabet’s X but as the symbol X in the Greek alphabet, called Chi, with a hard ch. The Greek Chi or X is the first letter in the Greek word Christos,” the site reads.
For centuries following this, X was used as a symbol for Christ. The word “Christmas,” by the way, comes from the words Christ and Mass. The phrase was coined by the Roman Catholic Church.
So to me, griping about people using Xmas is just silly. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. I personally don’t use it even though I don’t raise Cain for those who do. I certainly don’t try to demonize the motives of people who use it! I especially find it irritating when people overemphasize the CHRIST in Christmas. Sorry, doing this does not make you look like you like Christ more or that you’re more holy. It just looks like you don’t know how to spell.
To me, this whole “Xmas debate” is one of those arguments that remind me of the child who tattles on a sibling for not having their eyes shut during prayer. Obviously, the tattling child had to also not have his or her eyes shut for them to witness the supposed transgression. To me the two are related because both are about someone griping about another not having their focus on the right things. If someone is so worried about how another person spells Christmas, how are they focusing on Christ? How is that focusing on the point of Christmas?
Yes, I know we all have the right to our opinions on all issues, including these. We also have the right to express those opinions. We all have the right to debate. But these two just seems silly and overdone to me. Why steal the joy of Christmas by arguing over such things?