Sunday, December 25, 2005

It is Christmas, not Xmas!

It is Christmas day! Merry and Blessed Christmas to all!

May Peace, Joy, Love and Happiness be upon all.

It has been exactly one month that I did not blog, the university has changed its trimester system such that now Christmas falls on a crazy and busy time of the end of second trimester, a time of FYP evaluations, end of trimester rush, various year-end report deadlines etc. In contrast, previous years, this is a time to take leaves for Christmas and New Year holidays.

Anyway, I went to church yesterday (Christmas Eve) with a few friends, my sisters and nieces. I have a real good time there.

Over one of the forum, someone wishes everyone "Merry Xmas". I replied "I celebrate Christmas, not Xmas :)" and meant it as a thought provoking clarification rather than criticism, I actually though the meaning of this statement is pretty clear, but I was wrong. I got some replies asking what I meant and I was also asked not to be "pedantic". :(

Okay, I hope I won't end up having a flame war here, in the Spirit of Christmas and in the Spirit of Sharing, here is an slightly edited version of my reply to that forum:
Dear All,

Thanks Mr. H for the greeting, my apology if my statement is confusing, it is not a statement of criticism, it is a statement of clarification. Actually I was replying in hurry, thus the one sentence reply.

I agreed with Mr. J, it is the thought that counts, I am sure Mr. H truely give his wholehearted greeting to everyone, I especially like his advice of "don't drink & drive.", this advice is never enough during such festival seasons.

I found out from another person that my statement was indeed very confusing, not that I am confusing, but that I didn't realized the extend how people mistakenly think "Xmas" is a commonly accepted abbreviation for "Christmas".

The word "Xmas" originated from the fact that "Christ" is spell as "Kristos", "Christos" or "Xristos" in Greek. It was used in early days where typesetting in printing is done manually. However, nowadays, the term "Xmas" is mostly used in commercial world and "X" became a convinience way to take out any religious significant of Christmas, Christmas have became just too commercialized nowadays. The word "Xmas" is also having the same number of alphabets with "Sale", making advertisement convinience.

Frankly, this has nothing to do with being "pedantic" or not, Christmas is the time Christians celebrate and remember the birth of Christ (okay I am fully aware this is definitely not the correct date, but that would be a different story), to have Christmas being associated with Santa and Reideers as central figure is bad enough, to have the name of the birthday boy (ok, not just a boy) removed is saddening for practicing Christians.

Imagine to have your birthday celebrated and everyone singing "Happy Birthday to X" and everyone cheering at this guy called "Santa" and to have your name crossed out with a letter "X"? You may not agreed with the significant of the actual meaning of Christmas, you may just treat it as a great holiday season, you may treat as a great cultural season of sharing and joy, it is absolutely and perfectly okay. However, replacing "Christ" with a "X" is very saddening reminder to practicing Christians that Christmas is just being overly commercialized.

Though Santa rarely appeared in churches (at least it is true in Malaysia), it is everywhere in shopping malls, but as long as the name of the birthday Boy is not left out, as long as it is not as if it is the birthday of Santa, hey, there is nothing wrong to have some funs!!

In summary, the "Xmas" wishes is not offensive, but it is saddening reminder of the overly commercialization of it, but as Mr. J says, it is the thought that counts, However, it is a better thing to do not to cross out the name of which His Birth are being celebrated in this occasion, and out of respect for those who are celebrating the original meaning. My comments is not a criticsm to the well-meant wishes, but the overly commercialization of Christmas.

I am writing this because I was requested by some people to explain what I meant, of which I didn't realize the extend of the confusion. My short statement is just the reason I did not wish to be "pedantic" over it. My apology and thanks for reading.

Once again, thanks for all the wishes.
Merry Christmas again, may peace, joy and happiest be upon all.

Ho! Ho! Ho! :)
With that I wish everyone a Blessed Christmas again and happy holiday to all.

May He blessed you with all blessing and joy.


At 12:53 AM, Blogger exiang said...

well... just quote from lobak blog:

"Let's face it, if it's not for the commercialized version of X'mas, the world wouldn't celebrate the birthday of a man who died on a cross, like most rebels back in the good old 1st century."

In fact, not only Chirstmas lost its meaning nowsaday, but lots of other traditional chinese celebration as well.

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word Christmas is a contraction of Christ's Mass, derived from the Old English Cristes m├Žsse. It is often abbreviated Xmas, probably because X resembles the Greek letter ? (chi) which has often historically been used as an abbreviation for Christ (??????? in Greek).



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