E-pistle December 23

Keep the X in xmas!
 
One of the calls to arms in the Christmas wars is the request to “like” It’s not xmas, it’s CHRISTmas!!! Keep Christ in Christmas!!! on our Facebook pages.  For those of you who are not among the more than 500 million citizens of the planet who have an active Facebook account, that means that all our friends (which is how we euphemistically term those among the 500 million who are allowed to see our personal pages – and it can be all 500 million if we choose) will be reminded not to let anyone cheapen the REAL meaning of Christmas with an X.
 
It is a noble cause.  After all, X is so negative and dismissive. We x-off those on the list we’ve decided not to invite to our Christmas parties and we x-out those who no longer receive a Christmas card. X-rated movies should have no place at Christmas or any time, and, well, in most cases, he or she is our ex- for a good reason.
 
Baby Jesus is no x.
 
He certainly is not.  But he is the X, that is, the Greek letter chi, x, which is the first letter in the word Christ, the Greek for the Hebrew word messiah.  X for Christ is a long and honored practice, a thousand years or more old, and we may want to revive it.  Especially at Christmas. 
 
I hate to break the news to the Christmas warriors, but the war will not be won.  Even if the marts, K- and Wal-, agree to use Christmas in their advertizing and even if the governor allows a Christmas tree on the statehouse lawn, we’ve lost.  I don’t think we can claim an “after Christmas” instead of a “during Kwanza” sale to be a victory. And if Bob in accounting gets drunk at the annual Christmas party instead of bombed at the holiday bash, we haven’t gained much. If we buy into the idea that the spirit of Christmas is being nice for a day or two, we’re probably already POW’s in the stalag of secularism.

That’s why I want to put the X back in xmas. It’s always when the culture thinks that it has us beat that we Xians do our best.  It’s always when we have to use language the world doesn’t quite get that Xianity is understood in all its glory. It’s always when we free him from those oh-so-cute Christmas cards that Jesus becomes the X, the redeemer who makes all things new.
 
So, merry xmas to all!
 
And, yes, see you xmas Eve and then again on Sunday, the first Sunday in xmastide.