Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'X'mas is here..! Find X.

I am so overwhelmed by the response my first ever story got and I can’t seem to bring myself to the ground and am currently in a floating state, after tens of people liked it on Facebook and others, through blog comments and even in person. Christmas has rung itself in; there are voices of Boney M and Jim Reeves in the air. The  trip to hometown is in the pipeline, packing is halfway through, the festivities have started, the tree is lit, its ornaments are everywhere, the house is in a complete mess, so in short holidays are here! Yay!  

Christmas is the festival of merriment. We often exchange wishes saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Merry Xmas’ , both of which are intended to mean the same thing, but I was confused whether the latter was a colloquial usage. Because replacing Christ from Christmas with ‘X’ just dint make sense. I remember writing out cards that read 'Merry Christmas'…but ever since Christmas cards went down in the pages of history, the sms lingo made the situation worse with people saying ‘Hey Happy xmaz xoxoxo’ to which I just want to say 'Dude. It is Christmas'. 

Call me an idiot, but since Christmas brings with it the incredible season of winter, and festivities enjoyed by everyone regardless of religion, I believed that the non-Christians pulled the Christ out of Christmas and commercialized it. So any Christian worth his salt should not say 'Xmas', is what I thought although I used it in my whatsapp conversations. Because by the time I type Christmas, my phone would have become a thing of the past, thanks to my toddler who is extremely fond of throwing expensive stuff. 

Image courtesy: www.ligonier.org

But Google later told me a different story altogether. It seems there were protests by people across the world who had similar feelings as mine, over replacing ‘Christ’ with ‘X’. There were people who felt like the word ‘Xmas’ was more like an algebraic term which by the end of if wants the reader to Find ‘X’.  (A portion of me died by the the time I graduated, after hunting down all X, Y and Z which were absconding ever since I joined)

However, the word ‘Xmas’ originated somewhere around the 16th century, that is like really long ago.  Here is what the Wiki has to say about it:
Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas .The "-mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass,[1] while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστόςwhich comes into English as "Christ".[2]
There is a common misconception that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas[3] by taking the "Christ" out of "Christmas", but its use dates back to the 16th century.

Another article reads:
First of all, you have to understand that it is not the letter X that is put into Christmas. We see the English letter X there, but actually what it involves is the first letter of the Greek name for Christ. Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ. Source: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/why-is-x-used-when-it-replaces-christ-in-christmas/
So Xmas also means Christmas , its got a beautiful history behind it, so chill. People back in 16th century wouldn't have used it if it was sms lingo.
16th century. Hmm. It just struck me that this was also the time Shakespeare lived. Going by his work and especially his characters and their soliloquies, it is very unlikely that people of those times would actually think about using smaller words or concepts. 

In other news, I had hatched a master plan to put up an exclusive Christmas tree for the IT department of our office. With the help of some friends, we achieved a beautiful outcome and here it is.


This could be the last post of 2013, and so here is wishing all my readers and to everyone who stumbled upon this page and cared to leave comments, criticism and suggestions, a Merry Xmas and a joyous and blessed New Year 2014! 


16 comments:

  1. Good writing indeed, Anita, my beloved daughter !! God bless. Love.
    Papa

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  2. I remember being on this hunt many years back when one fine day I was overcome by the same doubt that 'X'ed you into googling it out. The answer soothed my nerves too. It was wonderful of you to share this information which I am sure will have soothed many of the 'X'ed minds suffering from the same uncertainty. And talking abut hunting down X, Y & Z....ohh...i might get grey hairs just thinking abt those 3 alphabets.

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    Replies
    1. Many people who've read this came up to me and told me the same thing. The uncertainty of using the word Xmas. Now all is well. Thanks Amogha !!!

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  3. Good one... A very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year ahead for u and family

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  4. ok.. i did not know that. thanks for this. And wishing u and ur family a great 2014 :)

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    Replies
    1. :-) Me too. Now we all know... Merry Xmas and a blessed 2014 to u too!

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  5. In the end, it is all Greek anyway :P

    Merry Christmas!
    The merry part reminds me that I' being the non-Christian types thought we wish Christmas the same way we wish Diwali or Holi, and I used to say Happy Christmas. But then one day, a learned woman gave me a lesson I am yet to forget, see, I'm wishing you a merry Christmas, and not a happy one. Ho, but wait...did I... so they never...aah that's convinient! Nevermind. :)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    Replies
    1. Wow .I am so confused right now!! Merry Xmas to you!!!

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  6. I am following you now. Do follow back as well. Will Appreciate it :)
    xoxo
    Red Alice
    http://redraoalice.blogspot.com/

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  7. Im justt like you, i used to be super annoyed wen pl used to say xmas!!! but well hail holy Google, and lo behold its not that bad :P ... However loved the fact that you are using your blog to spread awareness. Kudos to that

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    Replies
    1. I was so relieved to know that by saying Xmas we are not disrespecting Christ ! Thanks a ton Menachery, and welcome here.

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