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To Ask You NOT To Say/Write/Text Xmas?

(58 Posts)
ThePoppyAndTheIvy Tue 20-Nov-12 23:58:48

Just that really. What the hell is Xmas anyway? Whether we believe in god or not, we can all understand that Christmas is so called because it supposedly celebrates the birth of Christ.

So, what do we celebrate at Xmas - the birth of X?

Hate it I do, hate it. And I admit to thinking a little less of anyone who uses it.

And I'm not even religious!

altinkum Wed 21-Nov-12 00:13:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 21-Nov-12 00:13:39

I was told that the X was literally a "cross" so the cross still represented Christ as a symbol, iyswim? Although I argued that was perhaps more appropriate for Easter than his birth. It was a long time ago so am hazy on where it supposedly came from, but it's something to do with the original language that biblical scholars believed the early Christians spoke.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:15:14

ChippingIn - you know me? Am intrigued now grin.

Charlmara - I've long since given up noticing what Christina Aguilera's up to.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:17:23

altinkum - so are you saying that Christmas is not so named because it celebrates the birth of Christ?

I'm not arguing, just interested as that is what I grew up believing (and to be fair the words make sense).

DiddyMary Wed 21-Nov-12 00:17:37

The X looks similar to the Greek letter chi, equivalent to 'ch'

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 00:19:05

how about 'crimble'?

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:21:42

Thank you DiddyMary, that does make sense if you are greek or greek speaking.

I still maintain that the expression "Xmas" is used primarily as an abbreviation though, by people who would sometimes but not always know the greek origin.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:22:48

Aren't Crimbles a type of biscuit? I've never heard of the word Crimble meaning Christmas.... confused.

CoolaSchmoola Wed 21-Nov-12 00:22:59

When I was a student I used to spend holidays working for a flower company that supplied the M&S flowers.....

I wrote the gift cards and the customers were limited to a set number of letters.

When writing the cards abbreviations were NOT allowed. Ever. Not even when they came in from the customer. Reputation to protect etc blah blah.

It was a nightmare. The cards were standard size flower cards, and Christmas takes up a lot more space than Xmas. We also had to write "and" if "&" was used..... To make matters worse groups of family members would send one greeting.

Imagine -

To Betty & Steve, Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year, from Arthur & Penny, Jim & Bev, Charlie & Pete xxx.

This would become:

To Betty and Steve, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from Arthur and Penny, Jim and Bev, Charlie and Pete xxx.

Ok, so not a huge difference, but massive on a teeny little card!

The store assistants also used to abbreviate EVERYTHING to fit very long messages into the letter allowance, to the point where you could end up with 50% more. And most of them couldn't spell Margaret - Margret featured a lot and we had to correct that too.

And at Valentines we were not allowed to write anything even vaguely saucy, and if an "unacceptable" message was accepted in store we had to call the customer, tell them we couldn't send that message and ask for a more "appropriate" one hehehe.

bruffin Wed 21-Nov-12 00:24:30

I am half Greek and called Christine. Christine in Greek does start with X.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:25:01

Coola - the pedant in me respects M&S for that grin.

sleeplessinsuburbia Wed 21-Nov-12 00:25:05

Yabu. Agree with brandy.

I prefer the word Xmas to Christmas but say both depending on the sentence.

I'm soo excited about my new table decoration: Xmas spelt out in wooden letters and painted red and white- never imagined it would upset someone!

StuntGirl Wed 21-Nov-12 00:25:16


sleeplessinsuburbia Wed 21-Nov-12 00:28:09

Oh and btw I know the Greek reasoning behind Xmas, the lazy reasoning and the non Christian reasoning for saying Xmas- all perfectly acceptable by me.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:28:47

Really sleepless - have you never met anyone with a strong opinion about saying Xmas before? I've met loads of like minded people over the years confused. I wouldn't be upset or offended by something in your own home though, I'd just assume you couldn't afford the other five letters grin.

KitchenandJumble Wed 21-Nov-12 00:33:19

DiddyMary is right. The first letter of the word for Christ in Greek (Christos) is the letter chi, which looks simiilar to the letter X. It is a very old abbreviation of the word Christmas and has absolutely nothing to do with textspeak!

I get particularly irritated by a certain group of paranoid Christians who insist that writing Xmas is an attempt to "take Christ out of Christmas." (Not suggesting the OP is one of this group.)

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 00:37:12

oh yes kitchenjumble that was my mother and stepfather - the Greek Chi wouldn't have cut it with them!

sleeplessinsuburbia Wed 21-Nov-12 00:41:16

Never ever heard anyone object to saying Xmas.
Mumsnet opens my eyes to new things to be upset by daily though.
Still think on balance Xmas is acceptable!
And I actually thought when I bought the table decoration that it would have been cheaper to make than christmas but its also more practical as my table is pretty crowded and I simply couldn't fit 5 more letters without moving a reindeer smile

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 21-Nov-12 00:41:18

ThePoppyAndTheIvy I write, type Xmas. It's a pretty widely accepted abbreviation. I also am aware of the Greek X origins, and of Christian's appropriating pre-existing pagan festivals. I am an atheist, who had a very Catholic upbringing. Yet I write Xmas as it is an abbreviation.

I am surprised at your stance against abbreviating, especially as you have used wouldn't, isn't, aren't, didn't, 's (for is), etc. Why are these ones acceptable and Xmas not?

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 21-Nov-12 00:42:25

And it seems that I can't use an apostrophe correctly myself! Christian's? blush

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Wed 21-Nov-12 00:46:26

Because Xmas annoys the hell out of me and the others you mention don't I imagine!

I have already said that I do not feel this way about it due to any particular religious beliefs - just that Xmas is a horrible and (to me) non-sensical abbreviation for Christmas.

As it happens, I am not a fan of many, many abbreviated words in general - although the didn't, won't, wouldn't etc. etc. are fine.

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 00:56:34

am v sri 2 hear u feel ths way

bondigidum Wed 21-Nov-12 01:10:46

I don't mind xmas. I'm loving all of the reasons the x is used, i've had a mini education grin nah I use it when I cba typing the full on word.

I find 'Happy Christmas' much more offensive, it really gets to me. Its merry. angry

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 01:18:11

ah but many Christians object to merry as it suggests drunkeness......
Merry Xmas!

goralka Wed 21-Nov-12 01:18:29


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