Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Keeping the “Christ” in Xmas

A lot of folk make a big stink about writing “Xmas” as “Christmas.” They say that it takes the message of the season out of the name of the holiday. I mean, no body would know that we celebrate Christ’s birth on Xmas if we didn’t write it as “Christmas”…right?

Well, Christmas has actually been written as “Xmas” for hundreds of years. This tradition of the lazy of the pen goes all the way back to when it was a punishable offense to be an atheist. So, you can knock the idea of it being an “anti-religion” ideal out of your mind. It just doesn’t hold water. The reason it's written "Xmas" is because the first letter of the word "Christ" in Koine Greek is "chi" which is written as a stylized "x."

How do we keep the “Christ” in Xmas, though? Putting it on a billboard? Buying gifts from the Christian book store?

How about by not spending money? Our annual consumeristic orgy that spans Black Friday (that one after Thanksgiving) through Xmas eve does more to hurt the name of Jesus than writing Christmas as “Xmas.”

The annual family average expenditure for Xmas in the US is $800. That includes homeless people who don’t spend any money, so we know that the average is skewed low.

How much of that crap we buy over the holiday season comes from corporate conglomerates like Wal-Mart, which hurts small businesses? How much of that crap comes from China? Of that crap from China, much of it is produced by exploited women and children (and adult men, too) forced to work long hours in factories for low wages and no benefits.

Jesus came to Earth to redeem, to seek, to save and to serve. How much of that are we really celebrating by encouraging our culture to tune His redeeming message out via cold-blooded capitalistic, consumeristic hedonism? Let’s not kid ourselves about what’s going on. It’s hedonism.

This year, I’m doing more good than shopping. My spending on Xmas has been vastly reduced. And I’m doing my best to buy the products I’m buying produced locally, or at least produced humanely.

I don’t think Jesus was big on the poor, meek and lowly being exploited. Let’s do His name honor in a way that actually means something to Him.

Want to exchange gifts still? Well, how about following the lead of our brothers and sisters in the majority of Europe. A great number of them exchange gifts on St. Nicholas's Feast day (Dec. 6)...you know...Santa Claus? You can share with them the life story of the wonderful saint who was never canonized officially, just in the hearts of the faithful who have kept his story alive.

You know the twelve days of Xmas? Well, they start the day of Dec. 25 by Western tradition and end on January 5. Many, many Europeans exchange gifts on this day. Why not then?

But, why not reducing your spending and keeping it a humble holiday...just like our Servant King? Let's put our money where our mouth is.

5 comments:

Chelf said...

Donate to charity, and give your loved one the receipt.

I hear Sevens needs blankets and hand warmers.

Anne said...

Woo hoo - I can finally post a comment here. Now I don't remember what your post was about. Sorry.

Anne said...

Oh, I remember now. My comment is based on the quote in the picture... "Where did I say that you should celebrate my birthday?"

KingJaymz said...

Where did He say that we shouldn't? If you insinuate that we shouldn't celebrate Christmas, it violates the spirit of Romans 14:4-7.

If we don't celebrate Christmas, then what do we ever celebrate? We should also throw out Easter and the other major feasts on the church calendar. They serve as times of special remembrance of what and Who we are all about as followers of Christ.

Kathy Brown said...

Hi, Jared. I love this post. Especially as this whole XMas thing sort of bubbled here this year for me. I always thought the X was a cross and so was reminding us of Christ. And I never understood what the fuss was about.

But I really appreciate how far back the tradition goes!

Sorry I have not read or commented in a while. But I am glad I read today!

Kathy