An Atheist explains Xmas!

†This time of year many Christians seem to get on edge whenever the term Xmas gets tossed around. Many believers feel that the simplified form Xmas takes the Christ out of Christmas. However, this is not entirely accurate, since the X in Xmas isn't actually an abbreviation as commonly thought. Low and behold, the X is actually the Greek version of Christ's name! 

(Note: Christ's name is most commonly written in Greek, because the NT was originally written in Greek).

The well known Christian image of the Labarum (also known as Chi-Rho, or else the large X [Chi] with a P [Rho] running through it), was first coined by the Christianized Roman Emperor Constantine I (274-337), and is taken from the Greek word for Christ or Χριστος.

Wikipedia explains further:

The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧, is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.
However, the iconographic abbreviation of Xp or sometimes Xt is considered redundant since the X alone can be the linguistic equivalent of Christ.

Also, the common abbreviation for the word "cross" is a simple X. Thus the Kings Cross is often shortened to Kings X. This reinforces the assumption that Christ (who died on the cross) gets transformed into the common spelling of Xmas.

For those that still feel that Xmas is too much of an archaic usage for the anointed one's name, just remember that even the full word Christmas is a compound construction in and of itself. 

Wikipedia has this to say on the etymology of Christmas:

The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning "Christ's Mass". It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.[4] "Cristes" is from Greek Christos and "mæsse" is from Latin missa. In Greek, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ, and it, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ since the mid-16th century.[8] Hence, Xmas is often used as an abbreviation for Christmas.

Now you know the rest of the story. Xmas is just as Christian as the alternate spelling Christmas

Whichever one you decide to use is a matter of preference and not a so called attack on the Christian tradition celebrating Christmas (on December 25th). Although Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, thid date has less to do with Christianity than it does Mithraism. The Thinking Atheist reminds us:

December 25th was a date selected by the church, because no actual birth date for Jesus could be determined. It is the time of the Winter Solstice, and December 25th is also the traditional birthday of the Persian sun god, Mithra, whose birth legend includes shepherds, Magi, gifts, miracles, disciples and a virgin birth.

Clearly Xmas is not a "Christmas spirit" conspiracy to diminish the essence of Christ or otherwise ruin the holiday season. The simple fact of the matter is: Xmas is the literal equivalent of Christmas! It's simply a different spelling. Lots of words have alternative spellings. Sceptic and Skeptic, for example. 

So if you run into someone who believes that shouting out a "Merry Xmas" somehow offends their Christmas sensibilities, please take the time to educate them, perchance they can stop whining about irrelevant concerns and let everyone else get back to enjoying their precious holiday time in peace. 

This moment of enlightenment has been brought to you from your friendly secular Atheist. 


  1. Gashi

    Nice article. When I was A kid growing up Santa would always leave a card on each present that said "Merry X-mas. It wasn't cause my Mom was against Christ, and it sure in hell aint because she knew about the meaning of the "X", it was simply because she was to lazy or tired to write Christ?

    Do you wish people Merry Christmas? I can't believe that phrase has become a politically incorrect thing to say to some people. I don't think people say it with malice?

    Also those against it will say "happy holidays". I think holidays simply means "Holy Days", so what's the dif?

    Anyways tomodachi sesons greetings!

    Pi-su, feeno

  2. Sure, I'll wish people a Merry Christmas or Merry Xmas, no problem! In fact, I like to make a point of it.

    I find that most Christians don't understand the history of Christianity well enough to know how pagan a holiday it is anyway. I mean, wishing a Christian "Merry Christmas" is sort of like saying "remember Christ's masse" and most Christians don't actually know what that means. Why was there a masse on Dec. 25th--a date which had absolutely nothing to do with Christianity? What was the Church's political goal? What are the historical consequences of choosing such a notorious date, one shared by the prestigious lineage of great virgin born, born again, divine gods? Horus, Bacchus, Elah-Gabal, Sol, Mithras, and the list goes on.

    The first mention of a Christian holiday on or around December 25th is related to an early reference to the date of the nativity as being held on December 25, and is found in the Chronography of 354, a manuscript compiled in Rome in circa 354.

    In the East, early Christians celebrated the birth of Christ as part of Epiphany (January 6), although this festival emphasized celebration of the baptism of Jesus, not his birth, since Christ's date of birth remains a mystery even today. Although historians adn biblical scholars have used deductive reasoning to narrow it down to conclude that Jesus was born 7–2 BC/BCE (and probably not in Dec.).

    Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Catholicism following the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced to Constantinople in 379, and to Antioch in about 380. The feast disappeared after Gregory of Nazianzus resigned as bishop in 381, although it was reintroduced by John Chrysostom in about 400.

    In fact, the Christian practice of "Christmas" as an accepted holiday didn't start until the Middle Ages, over 800 years after the death of a man who's real date of birth remained a complete mystery.

    And when you study the history of it, it's quite revealing. But old habits die hard I guess, and even if Christians all over the world realized today that what they were doing was celebrating the birthday of the ancient pagan god Mithras, it wouldn't matter all that much.

    They would likely ignore that fact just like they ignore the fact that the Christian God explicitly forbids putting up "Christmas" trees. But what'cha going to do with the hypocrites? Christians pretty much write their own rules anyway.

    And the real truth of the matter is, the real truth doesn't actually count so long as believers can remain ignorant, ignorance is bliss after all. None if this hard hitting factual evidence shakes their faith in the slightest, although it should, and Christians are free to merrily continue a forbidden practice, eat too much ham and turkey, and get schnookered on Grandma's spiked eggnog, all the while--in most all likelihood--worshiping the wrong "god" altogether.

  3. 1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the LORD:

    “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
    Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
    For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.

    3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
    For one cuts a tree from the forest,
    The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.

    4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
    They fasten it with nails and hammers
    So that it will not topple.

    5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
    And they cannot speak;
    They must be carried,
    Because they cannot go by themselves.
    Do not be afraid of them,
    For they cannot do evil,
    Nor can they do any good.”

    6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O LORD(You are great, and Your name is great in might),7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due.For among all the wise men of the nations,
    And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You.

    8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
    A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.9 Silver is beaten into plates;
    It is brought from Tarshish,
    And gold from Uphaz,
    The work of the craftsman
    And of the hands of the metalsmith;
    Blue and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skillful men.

    10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. (Jeremiah 10:1-10)

    ***See--Christmas trees bring God's wrath. Happy holidays.


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