After being criticized about my choice in using a particular pronoun, I sat down and stared at my Christmas tree to remember the “reason for the season” and maintain the strong hold on my tongue I have been practicing lately. This of course took my mind jutting off into a whole new direction.
Christmas is a day set aside to honor the birth of Jesus, believed to be the Savior in Christianity. Now, I have my reservations about such hoopla surrounding the actual date of December 25th. For a lot of “Christians,” this is one of two days they might actually attend a worship service in a church. Many may even forego attending ON actual Christmas and go instead to a service held on Christmas Eve (because Christmas morning traditions of eating breakfast as a family and trashing the house with ripped wrapping paper and the remains of empty boxes certainly cannot be interrupted for such a silly thing as church). The date itself is not known to be the actual day of Jesus’ birth, but is the date of the winter solstice and marks many ancient winter festivals and celebrations. It is only fitting that this be continued. But regardless of my personal reservations about individuals reserving religious tradition and charity for the “season,” I have a much more superficial pet peeve to discuss today: the attack against the use of Xmas as an abbreviation for Christmas.
This is not an “attempt to remove Christ from Christmas,” at least not on a conscious level. Most people do not have the intellectual ability to form a connection between inserting ‘x’ as an unknown variable and thus taking religion away from the holiday, leaving only a commercialized day for gift giving and indulgence. That happens all on its own, regardless of what it is called. Xmas is simply an abbrevation.
Even the Christian Style Manual acknowledges the respectful use of Xmas in the past, though carefully stating that in formal writing it is still appropriate to use Christmas. This is true of all formal writing though–you do not use abbreviations or any other unconventional writing tactics.
In short, stop being so offended by everything. Being politically correct has taken such an extreme turn in America lately, and I for one am sick of it. If you don’t like saying Xmas, don’t. But do everyone else a favor and loosen your grip on the reins of the world–you can’t control anyone other than yourself and will only make yourself sick in trying to do so.
Remember the reason for the season. Would Jesus have been rude and called people out on their speech patterns? I think not.