Are you a Christmas or Xmas person for many years I would only write Christmas because I was under the impression that Xmas was in someway wrong but a couple of years ago someone told me different and so I did a Google search and found out the origins of the word Xmas.
So for those of you who do not know what the word Xmas means and like me just thought it was a lazy persons way of writing Christmas here is what Google says about the word.
The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Xpiotoc, which in English is “Christ” and the “mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.
In the 1948 Vogue’s Book of etiquette it said that the word “Xmas” should never be used in greeting cards. The Cambridge Guide to Australian English Usage states that the spelling should be considered informal and restricted to contexts where concision is valued, such as headlines and greeting cards. The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style acknowledges the ancient and respectful use of Xmas in the past but states that the spelling should never be used in formal writing.
The word Xmas dates back to the 1700’s it was included in a book by Bernard Ward in 1755, it was also found in a letter from George Woodward in 1753.
Let’s jump forward a bit to the 1800’s the word was used by Lord Byron in 1811 and by Lewis Carroll in 1864. In the United States, the fifth American edition of the Royal Standard English Dictionary published in 1800 included a list of common abbreviations and the word “Xmas” was included.
Since the late 1900’s the word “Xmas” has been used in a lot in advertisements, headlines and banners and of course can be found on Christmas Cards. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary feel that it’s association with commerce has done nothing for its reputation.
In 1977 New Hampshire Governor Meldrim Thomson sent out a press release saying he wanted journalists to keep the “Christ” in Christmas and not call it Xmas, which he called a pagan spelling of Christmas.
I am still a Christmas person but no longer get all pissy over the word Xmas, but, however, you spell it I wish you a wonderful and Merry Christmas filled with love and presents…………..
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JO-ANNE & TIM