Wednesday, December 15, 2004

'Tis The Season...

... for a bunch of sappy articles decrying how saying "Happy Holidays" takes the spirit out of Christmas and complaining that "Xmas" is some sort of eeeeevil Communist plot to do away with Christ.

Well, you may feel that way, but I don't. I say "Happy Holidays" because there are so many holidays this time of year that it would take you at least a minute to greet everyone with a list of them. Christians who object to greeting people of other religions with recognition of their non-Christian holidays should view the "Happy Holidays" greeting as covering both Christmas and New Year's. You need one quick catch-all greeting, and "Happy Holidays" works just fine.

As for the "Xmas" issue, that just goes to show the historical ignorance of many. The X in "Xmas" is not, as some claim, a modern attempt to take the word "Christ" out of "Christmas". It's not really even an X-- it's a Chi, the first letter in the Greek version of the word "Christ". My mom was brought up Catholic and educated in Catholic schools, and she always used a symbol that looked like a P growing out of an X to represent the word "Christmas". She explained to me that it was the Greek letters Chi and Rho, the first two letters in the name "Christ" in Greek, and it was an abbreviation for "Christmas". We use abbreviations all the time, especially for long words. Nobody claims that saying "FBI" takes the "Federal" out of "Federal Bureau of Investigation". As long as everybody knows what it stands for, an abbreviation helps streamline real conversation.