Christmas vs Xmas

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©2014 by George Yazigi

One of my friends was asking why some people use Merry Xmas, instead of Merry Christmas?
Below is my answer, hope it clarifies the issue:
There are 2 contradictory views, one would say the X was put to denote an unknown “X” person and make people forget about the original word “Christ”. However, my interpretation would be the opposite as follows: Early Christians adopted symbols especially from the Greek alphabet. And Constantine the Roman Emperor used one of those symbols on his banner after the Edict of Milan that ended the prosecution of Christians. The Symbol Constantine used was (XP) based on a vision he saw that lead him to convert into Christianity. The symbol was in Greek: The pronunciation was X=Chi, P=Rho the first 2 letters of the word Christ in Greek and rendered as XP in Koine (common) Greek alphabet. Another symbol that was used by early Christians was IX monogram denoting I = IHΣΟΥΣ = Jesus, and X = XPEIΣTOΣ = Christ, this IX is being used nowadays for pharmacies (modified), doctors, paramedics, and ambulances in areas where christians are inter-mixed with other non-christian religions (especially in the West, China, Japan…) or where the cross symbol may be sensitive for some reason. Therefore the X=Chi in Koine Greek was always a reference or abbreviation to XPEIΣTOΣ = Christ. The recent usage of Xmas started in 1753 in a letter by George Woodward a British diplomat. An earlier use was X’temmas in 1551. The whole concept is that the X = Chi is an abbreviation of XPEIΣTOΣ = Christ. Because Christians are not under prosecution as they were (or maybe they still are!), there is no need to use monograms or abbreviations and it is better to use the full word = Christ! Nowadays you can still find a lot of icons in churches having these abbreviations especially the XP and IX. For your reference you may have a look at: