(It’s Christmas day, you should be with your family and not reading blogs! So in light of that, I’ll make this short, and leave you with a bit of Xmas trivia)
I grew hearing that the abbreviation “Xmas” was an effort to secularize Christmas by the heathens, taking the “Christ out of Christmas” But guess what, that is wrong!
The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Christós (Greek: Χριστός), which became Christ in English. The suffix -mas is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.
…. this usage dates back to the 16th century, with the “X” deriving from the New-Testament Greek spelling of “christos”
It turns out that Xmas is a legitimate Christly way of writing Christmas! What did you learn about the word Xmas? Did you ever hear anything specifically from a Mormon view on using this word? What would Elder Oaks say if he got a “Merry Xmas” card?
Merry Christmas, everyone who sneaks in a daily fix or two, even on Christmas! (If Wordle is as lame today as it was on Thanksgiving (FEAST), then that will keep me away on future holidays.)
Thanks, Bishop Bill for refuting the widely assailed “war on Christmas”.
Here’s another one:
“ Holiday comes from “holy” and “day,” meaning a religious festival, and the word was even pronounced that way until the sixteenth century.”
Holiday – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms – Vocabulary.com
Merry Christmas to the much-needed W&T community !! Family still asleep but we are surprising one of the kids with a puppy – same child watched his only sibling go to drug rehab but the healing continues four years later.
The main element of virtue signaling I have seen this week is people stating to “keep the focus on Christ.” So. Tired. Of. This.
Merry Christmas everybody at W&T. You are an important part of keeping me sane.
The problem, Bill, it not with the word “Xmas.” The problem is what the modern use of it has come to mean.
The modern Xmas has become little more than a false and commercial festival that focuses on excess and greed. Rather than thinking of a humble Child in a manger, the focus is on expensive technology. Technology that allows the user to show off in ways that are anything but humble.
Clearly, society is the worse for it. Rather than giving to the poor and feeding the hungry, Xmas day is spent using the technological gifts to play violent video games and watch sexually explicit videos on TikTok. This is the worse possible desecration of the Holiday.
Not to stray too far from the Xmas issue.
There was a beautiful reflection on the phrase “Happy Holidays” in the Church News in 2014 it’s called “Happy holidays, everyone!” written by Janet Nelson on thechurchnews dot com.
(link to follow in later comment in case the spam filter is working on Christmas morning)
Happy Holidays, everyone! By Janet Nelson
The phrase happy holidays goes hand in hand with the eleventh article of faith. I’m not suggesting we can’t wish others a merry Christmas, but this is a lovely reflection of living in a diverse world
Merry whatever you celebrate this winter break. I too appreciate this community in ways words fail to convey.
The phrase “happy holidays” also goes way back to the time Christians were persecuting pagans and is referring to the 12 days of… you guessed it, Christmas. All 12 days were celebrated, and the tree was put up Christmas Eve and stayed up through New Years and Epiphany, which falls on January 6, the day people celebrated the wise men arriving with fruit cake. No, no, no, correct that, the wise men didn’t arrive with fruit cake, the people celebrated with fruitcake and rum, but y’all can leave out the rum, or not.
The phrase did not originate as a way to recognize diversity and respect those who celebrate other holidays, but as a way of saying “Christmas isn’t over at Sundown on Dec 25, so enjoy the other days too.” If JCS and other’s want to latch onto it as a way to stop the takeover of Christmas by the commercialism of “buy, buy, buy” OK, it’s over, throw out the tree and used wrapping paper and boxes,” attitude, then I’m all for it. Or, if people want to use it to remind themselves that there are pagans, Moslems, Jews, among us who do not celebrate Christmas, then that is good too.
So, all those supposed Christians fighting against “Happy Holidays” are the ones really fighting against the other 11 days of Christmas, by telling us we shouldn’t celebrate. I plan on celebrating the Feast of St. Steven on Dec 26 with a feast of leftovers just like King Wenceslas did. Personally, on Epiphany, I skip the fruitcake as well as the rum.
So, Happy Holidays everyone, enjoy your leftover feast tomorrow.
“Xmas” used to bother me, back in my more orthodox days when I enthusiastically got swept up in the “war on Christmas” persecution complex along with my fellow Saints. Nowadays I don’t care. Thanks Bishop Bill for the interesting tidbit of history, that validates my indifference.
What does bother me, however, is when some self-appointed ward busybody makes a stink about Joseph Smith’s birthday (Dec 24) as they inevitably do every year, in a way that makes it seem like it should be more important than Christmas. It really lets the air out of the festivities of the season.
Happy holidays everyone, wherever you are!
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Joyful Everything!
I appreciate everyone on this website – it sure has helped my sanity to have an outlet and a community. I send you all a virtual air kiss and hope you got your favorite Christmas treats! I just discovered Lindt/Lindor chocolates this year. Have you ever tried the coconut ones? Milk chocolate shell with a coconut center. Oh wow. Oh very wow.
Thank you BBill and Anna for the education and background. I saw it previously as we were taught, as disrespectful to write Xmas to “save space” and Happy Holidays. Now, I will view it differently.
The DesNews has an article about JS and “Xmas”.
I think the church is now trying to get away from the excessive celebration of JS birthday, over the past decades. https://www.deseret.com/2022/12/23/23522786/a-look-into-how-joseph-smith-celebrated-christmas.
In today’s world Mormons have to reiterate, “we also celebrate Christmas”, we are not like those other high demand religions. The missionaries are out in force, with their hidden name tags at Light of the World kiosks, or on Facebook anonymously declaring as a “friend”, “see we are actually Christians”.
It got me to wonder, why did the Mormon community even accept Christmas(along with Easter). The other remaining burned out district church, the 7thDA, rejected it (but now can somewhat culturally observe it). Many of the newer 19th century churches like Jehovah Witness, banned it, to completely separate themselves from mainline Christianity.
I have no answer.
The LDS church could adopt St. Stephan (Boxing Day), but do we want to really help other people and honor someone who literally give their life for Christianity, like the Catholics?
If we adopted Epiphany Jan 6, we would honor Christ’s physical manifestation to mankind, but would be too much like the Eastern Orthodox.
No, let’s have a birthday party for Joseph Smith, he was our martyr for Christ. Now, just put $20 in this machine to feel like you are helping someone. FYI, The LDS church does not follow BBB standards. https://www.give.org/charity-landing-page/bbb-standards-for-charity-accountability
Please LDS church, show us the funds of all this giving in the name of Christmas
As a side note, if Joseph Smith had a middle initial like all the current Q15, would it be “C”?
JCS we have missed you these past weeks and your curmudgeon approach to society.
Just to point out how different our worlds ore; It is 10am on boxing day here, and we are expecting 32 c (90 f)for top temperature today.
Merry Christmas to such a wonderful online community. Truly a hard find. Either the community is too large and your voice is not heard. Or the community is too anonymous, if you know what I mean, and people say crazy weird things. Keep doing what you do. And regular commenters on here, thanks for being such a great discussion group. Even those who regularly disagree with me. Bunch of great people!
It is 8:21am in Jerusalem, on Monday, Dec. 26. It is 49F (9C) and raining.
Wait, there are sexually explicit videos on TikTok? I think I’m following all the wrong people. I’m mostly getting funny animal videos and travel stuff.
Faith, the vending machines go to non-LDS charites like Oxfam, United Way, etc.
I’m late – been busy with Xmas. I grew up in England and practically everyone I knew who wasn’t LDS wrote ‘Happy Xmas’ on their cards. I was later confused as why we weren’t supposed to use that term. I also like wishing people Happy Holidays because not everyone I send greetings to at this time of year are Christian or even remotely religious. I also tend to say that to people at the checkouts etc. it’s friendly and inclusive.
I love Wheat and Tares – a place where I can be more authentic. Striving for that in other spaces too.