Put Down Your Pitchforks

With Christmas a mere nine days away, the “war on Christmas” is in full swing.  Except, as I pointed out previously, there really is no “war on Christmas” at all.  Nope.

“But,” you might say, “stores put ‘X-mas’ on displays, and that shows that they are taking the ‘Christ’ out!”  Wrong.  Put down your pitchfork and learn something (I just learned this myself, but I have to admit that I am not offended at all by “Christmas,”  “X-mas,” or “Happy Holidays” either).

As it turns out, using the abbreviation “X-mas” is not really taking Christ out at all; in fact, it harkens back to the 1500s (as least) and is rooted in Greek (source).  In Greek, the letter “X” is pronounced “Chi,” which itself is shortened from “Christos.”  For more, I recommend reading a blog with an aptly titled tagline, “Feed Your Brain.”  There is a really solid explanation there.

But, before you get offended the next time you see “X-mas” displayed somewhere, tell yourself that the display honors the Greek spelling and move merrily along.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



The War Nobody Is Fighting

It’s not a real war, at least by the first definition of the word that comes to mind (“a state of usually open and declared hostile conflict between states of nations,” according to Merriam-Webster online).  But you can always count on Fox News to bang the drums of the supposed war during this time of year.  I’m talking about the “War on Christmas,” and nothing gets the folks into a lather at Fox more than the “war” they made up in the first place.

Check out their website for examples.

If anybody dares to wish someone else “Happy Holidays,” they must hate both Christmas and Jesus.  They are pretty predictable, to be honest, and it is both sad and funny.  Mostly sad.

Apparently, Fox News thinks the First Amendment (freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and freedom from religion) applies only to those who celebrate Christmas and set up a Nativity scene.  Anything else is an act of war to them.  What they fail to realize is that there is a large number of people in our country who are Jewish, so you are more likely to see a menorah as a decoration than a manger from them.  And that is just fine.  There are also those who do not identify with religion at all and choose not to decorate, and that is fine as well.  I fear if Fox had their way, I would have to physically demand that my neighbors put up lights and decorations.  I just don’t have the time to monitor what my neighbors do and do not choose to celebrate.  Frankly, I really do not care, either.

I am also not one who gets offended when someone wishes me “happy holidays.”  I appreciate that they want me to be happy.  I also do not get offended if someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas,” either, and I appreciate their sentiment.  If you are one who gets offended by being wished “happy holidays,” might I suggest that you either lighten up or just stay inside until after Christmas?

And while I do not like seeing “Xmas” on signs in advertisements, I do not boycott those places who use that instead of “Christmas.”  I do not really think that people are “trying to take the Christ out of Christmas” or anything like that.  Maybe those people are just lazy and do not want to write it out; to each their own.  Yes, I would prefer to see Christmas spelled out, but I also know that a lot of people have issues spelling even the simplest of words, and it is better to see it as “Xmas” than to see it spelled incorrectly.

I am also not smart enough to even think about getting into a discussion with someone as to whether or not December 25 is actually when Jesus was born (if you are interested in that debate, click here for one perspective).  That’s a debate for people who are just looking to argue about something.  Whether or not December 25 is when Jesus was actually born is irrelevant in my book.

Please do not be duped into thinking there really is a “War on Christmas.”  There isn’t.  Christmas will be celebrated on December 25 again this year, like it has been for centuries, regardless of whether someone wishes you a “happy holidays” or a “Merry Christmas” at Wal-Mart.  Just try to enjoy the season.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.  Or Happy Holidays.  You choose.