It has been my personal and now life-long mission to change the way the word Christmas is abbreviated. It is yet another iconic change that has been difficult for me to get others to adopt. However, I have personally used C'mas instead of x-mas since 1987. Some have argued that it should never be abbreviated but it is. Thus this campaign.
A friend sent me the following to explain why people write x-mas: X representing the initial chi of Greek Khristos ‘Christ’.
X, the Greek letter chi, first letter of Greek Khrstos, Christ; see Christ. Usage Note: Xmas has been used for hundreds of years in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of "Christ." In this use it is parallel to other forms like Xtian, "Christian." But people unaware of the Greek origin of this X often mistakenly interpret Xmas as an informal shortening pronounced (ksms). Many therefore frown upon the term Xmas because it seems to them a commercial convenience that omits Christ from Christmas.
"Christmas," 1551, X'temmas, wherein the X is an abbreviation for Christ in Christmas, from first letter of Gk. Christos "Christ" (see Christ). The earlier way to abbreviate it was Xp- or Xr-, corresponding to "Chr-," and the form Xres mæsse for "Christmas" appears in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" (c.1100).
While this is highly educational and enlightening, this information does not penetrate or influence the current consciousness and understanding of the masses.
Then there's the added 'teaching' I received as a child that said that the X is a symbol for the Cross on which Jesus was crucified so we will always remember he was born to die for our sins. Yeah, let's celebrate his birth with a guilt ridden reminder of his death. (And I'm not even going to get into the discussion about his actual date of birth not being December 25th.)
This is why I want to change the abbreviation:
Given our worldwide acceptance of what the symbol X means in modern culture's 'international' signs (not allowed, not permitted, don't, no, etc.), the X in the abbreviation for Christmas does it's insidious job - both visually and subliminally - on the human psyche and subconscious. Besides, in how many English words in common usage today do we substitute a Greek or any other language symbol in order to abbreviate it? None.
When seen with the physical eyes, C'mas has a calming and "unknotting" effect on my heart. It calls forth the Christ in my mind. It confirms and reflects the actual English spelling of the word Christmas.
Ultimately, it would be best to not abbreviate it at all. But I envision seeing all of those hand-painted signs that read C'mas Trees for Sale and After C'mas Sale and Big C'mas Event! embracing this grammatically correct abbreviation rather than continuing to use the subliminally denouncing and denying 'X' version.
I don't know how people get changes such as this accepted into the general culture - but it happens all the time so I know it's possible.
All you have to do is use it. When you do, watch and feel what happens. At first you may feel like you are breaking a sacred rule that may result in punishment or death for doing so. But in actuality, you are just doing what's right in the here and now. GO FOR IT.
C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS C'MAS!
~ Tonia ~