CHRISTmas Misconceptions Addressed: Dec 25th, Xmas, Happy Holidays

Every year I find there are a few “touchy” subjects among Christians and non-Christians alike. Many argue about celebrating Christmas on December 25th, claiming it to be a pagan holiday celebration. Others get upset when the term Xmas is used in place of Christmas, claiming it cancels out Christ. And finally, in todays culture more and more people are being forced to use Happy Holidays in place of Merry Christmas so as to not offend anyone.

Here’s what I found when I researched these concerns:

DECEMBER 25th

There is a DVD called “Bethlehem Star” (http://www.bethlehemstar.com/) and it reveals scientific & historical research about the alignment of the stars, the moon, the sun, the planets, the constellations, etc back in the year Jesus was born. They provide Scriptural proof for each star, planet, constellation studied and it is all in the Word.  Because of the alignment of these various things which can be traced from historical records they found that when the “star” appeared and the Magi (wise men) followed… based on the distance they had to travel, etc… the day they arrived and brought gifts to Jesus in the manger was our equivalent of Dec 25!  This day had no significant meaning to anyone back in that day, therefore celebrating on Dec 25 was not intentional because of this. The Roman Catholics are the ones who began the practice of celebration on Dec 25 almost 300 years after Jesus birth. But regardless of why they decided to celebrate on this day, evidence now exists to show God’s sovereignty in the midst of it all!  Man thinks he picked the day, but God divinely purposed it all along!

In addition to December 25th likely being the day the Magi visited Jesus in the manger, it also may be the date of His conception!  Here is a link to some research on this: http://www.revneal.org/Writings/jesusbirth.htm

XMAS

I also recently learned that the words “Christianity” and “Christmas” have been abbreviated for more than 1,000 years and the tradition does not symbolize disrespect or anonymity. The “X” in Xmas is from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the word Χριστός, Greek for “Christ.” References in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as early as AD 1021 show Christ referred to as “XP” or “Xt”. The letter χ used in ancient abbreviations is still widely seen in Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas)

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

According to Merriam-Webster.com:

Etymology of Holiday = Middle English, from Old English hāligdæg, from hālig holy + dæg day

Date: before 12th century

1 : holy day
2 : a day on which one is exempt from work;

3 chiefly British : vacation

4 : a period of exemption or relief <corporations enjoying a tax holiday>

From this definition of holiday, we can see that its root meaning and primary meaning are HOLY DAY.  So if you find your environment insisting you not say Merry Christmas…. just say Happy HOLY DAY instead! Because that is indeed what it is!

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So while I prefer “Merry Christmas,” on this day December 25, 2009, I am free to say Merry Xmas, Happy HOLY DAY and still know that it’s ALL ABOUT HIM!

(Oh, and Happy Birthday Jesus!)

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About Mary L'Esperance Held
http://www.maryloveslife.org

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