‘X-mas’ not offensive

This letter is in response to Charles Schutz letter (CR Jan. 04) titled “‘X-mas’ is offensive”.

During this past season of Advent a friend had given me a book of reflections entitled , “The Little Blue Book, Advent and Christmas Seasons 2006-2007” based upon the writings of Bishop Ken Untener, Diocese of Saginaw. In that I read, ‘X-mas’ – It is sometimes thought that the abbreviation “X-mas” is disrespectful. It takes Christ out of Christmas.

Actually, the “X” is not an “X”. It is a Greek letter which is pronounced “Ch” (with a hard “C”), and was an ancient Christian symbol for Christ.

Evidence of this can be seen in the familiar and very old combination of two Greek letters – “X” and “P” (the “P” is comparable to the English “R”). These are the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ” and became a symbol for him.”

Norma Brach

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.