Put the X back in Xmas!


People often assume that the term “Xmas” is an attempt to take “Christ” out of Christmas. But did you know that:

  • The term Xmas dates all the way back to the Middle Ages.

  • X is an abbreviation for Christ (it’s the first letter of Christos, Χριστός in the Greek).

  • X is a traditional symbol of the cross.

  • By using Xmas instead of Christmas, theologians were reminding us not just that God’s son came to earth, but why.

  • Hence the term reviled by so many for taking Christ out of Christmas was originally intended to keep him in it!

P.S. Ministers were historically referred to as churchmen, or simply Xmen! (No, they don’t have superpowers. But God does. I mean, like, there was this one time when… Oh, just read the book.)

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Put the X back in Xmas!

  1. This is a great informative post. I can’t wait to use this info in a conversation today and act like I knew this all along haha Thank you for this, very cool and I’m sure there are tons of people who did not know this. Happy “X”mas

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anni Harry says:

    I did not know this! It makes complete sense when you stop to think about the origin of the “x” symbol – so, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Relax... says:

    It’s a relief, isn’t it? Also, I believe St. Andrew was crucified on an “x” type cross.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha! X-men,I love it. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. E says:

    Mitch, so badly I want to say it’s all Greek to me! Buts it’s also great. Xmen haha 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Yes! I have often shared this as well. Good, good, good.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. When I found out about the symbolism of the “X” I started spelling the secular holiday as Chri$mas! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. schoen55 says:

    Mitch, you are awesome! This was a discussion between my son in love and myself this past week. I cannot wait to share this with him. Merry X-mas!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Well I never knew that Mitch! Really interesting facts. Thanks for educating me today 🙏🏻😊

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Shared with my Soul Friends … I rather think our Vicar is an Xman. Xtraordinary patient at any rate.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I thought everyone knew that. I guess it shows my age. I still use the abbreviation.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Xmen… love it! And God’s superpowers? Infinite. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. David Pettus says:

    Xmen! Made me chuckle. Reposted this on my Facebook page.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thank you for the education and Merry Xmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. smzang says:

    Again I learn!

    I’m reblogging this in two locations. I’m guessing there are many who are not aware of the significance of X (though I will admit, I still flinch when I type Xmas. Thank you again for new perspectives.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Pingback: Put the X back in Xmas! — Mitch Teemley | Pitching Pennies Poetry

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  18. oneta hayes says:

    Mitch, I have heard that, but it does not seem reasonable to me to put it into practice since most people think it is leaving Christ out of Christmas. It is my responsibility to use words that communicate what I want my readers to hear. I don’t choose to send a documented essay with my Christmas cards. So I just say Merry Christmas rather than Merry Xmas (with required documentation). 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  19. carhicks says:

    I had no idea. Thanks for sharing this. I will still use Christmas though.

    Liked by 2 people

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  21. Rhonda says:

    I had no idea about the “Xmas” thing. Thanks for enlightening us!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Roos Ruse says:

    For years I would write “cross”-mas instead of an X, feeling something like what Oneta shared, that many people wouldn’t know Jesus is the original X man. However, thank you for the inspiring new conversation starter, Mitch. Merry Xmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. ColorStorm says:

    There’s always the rrrrrrrrrrest of the story. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. One of my friends who is new to blogging (Detective Gluck here on wordpress) talks about the X as well. I’ll have to share this with him! 🙂 Have yourself a merry little Xmas, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ann Coleman says:

    My father was a minister, and he used to think it was so ridiculous when people got upset about shortening Christmas to Xmas, for exactly the reasons you stated. I think it is always wise to research something before we react to it. Xmas isn’t taking Christ out of anything… Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. jantanleo says:

    Thanks for the insight. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I feel so much better about the abbreviation now that I know that it has meaning, a truly good meaning behind it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I had no idea about the X in xmas or even how it came about! You learn something new everyday

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Bill says:

    How INTERESTING. Hitherto I loathed “Xmas” as a term. But what you write rings a bell. As for Xmen, indeed, there is a group of us men who used to meet in a Bible Study I used to lead and we call ourselves the ex, it X-men. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Well done, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wow! I never knew that Mitch. I am one of the people who has always avoided using ‘Xmas’ in favor of Christmas. No more. Thank you. It is New Year’s Eve here in New Zealand, so let me wish you a Happy New Year, peace, good health and much joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pazlo says:

    As so many, I had no idea this was the case.
    What a great informative post!
    Thanks for this valuable information.
    Happy New Year.

    Seek peace,



  33. Very insightful post on Christmas. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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