Boycott all your “Xmas” Christmas Cards now!

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Every year, I see the vast array of Christmas Cards that have been designed. Some are good, some are ‘bad’ (poorly-designed), but there are some that are just plain evil.

You may think I’m going over the top here, but when it comes to so-called ‘designers’ making Christmas cards inclusive of the words ‘Merry Xmas’, the name of Jesus Christ has been totally relegated.

It wasn’t until researching for this article that I found this Wikipedia article about how Christ has been substituted for X for a 1000 years. An extract from the article reads:

The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “XP” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as AD 1021…

That may be all-well-and-good, but the vast majority of people who exchange cards with this “nothing short of blasphemy” are not aware of this. In my opinion, the derogatory ‘X’ is a way of replacing the name of our Holy Jesus to fit-in with a secular society.

I have strong views on this, true, and I urge you to do likewise. This year, I urge everyone who reads this not to send out an ‘Xmas card’. Boycott them all — and if you receive one, throw it in the bin. As a final rant, printing ‘Xmas’ may be justifiable in the eyes of some (saving space, etc), but don’t get me started on people who say to each other “Merry Xmas”X and Christ are both one syllable!

Are you a designer who has designed ‘Xmas Cards’? Have you sent or received one this year? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Boycott all your “Xmas” Christmas Cards now!”

  1. Cameron Olivier

    hehe thought while I was looking around, I’d make a nuisance of myself and reply here too 🙂

    To be honest, and I hear what you’re saying, but although this used to bother me, it doesn’t really anymore. Main thing is that this isn’t Jesus’ birthday. It originates as a secular holiday that was labelled as Christ’s birthday to kill 2 birds with one stone. Second, Christmas as we experience it in western culture has very very little to do with Christ at all, and is so much more about driving that end of year boon.

    So, I’m not too perturbed when people take the Christ out of Christmas. I’m not sure He fits too well in there anyway. I think when we just see it as a happy time to share gifts and celebrate family – and give and love – then we’re showing Christ to the world anyway.

    I suppose, it’s a personal thing, but if there is a holiday that I’d be a bit more pedantic about, it’d most probably be easter – although that’s also all but lost to chocolate bunnies and hotcross buns..

    I just feel that although it might be a bit of ‘free advertising’ for God, as it were, us, living life, as God-lovers, and living in that life with others should be the ‘advertising’.

    Not sure I’m expressing myself as well as I’d like to, but hoping you get the gist of what I’m trying to say 🙂

    Cameron Olivier’s last blog post..cameronolivier: RT @mjnewham: Create a Faux Fisheye Effect in Photoshop [Photoshop Tip] * @tomlovesyou still looking? might help..

  2. Andrew Kelsall

    Hi Cameron,

    You have the honour of being Pure Christian Graphic Design’s first commenter…sorry though, no prizes 😉

    I can relate to what you’re saying about the whole thing, and thanks for your detailed thoughts on the matter.

    I suppose how we look at this issue is a personal one, and I still hold to my original opinion. To clarify, though, I get quite annoyed when people replace Christ with “X” as in some cases, it’s a personal attack as I see it. Granted, it’s not always the case, but I hope this article can educate Christians and non-Christians on the views some of us hold.

  3. Colin Campbell

    Interesting articles here Andrew. I sympathise with this issue and as a Christian designer myself I would never use this abbreviation in any formal written setting or ANY spoken setting, primarily because of this misconception that ‘xmas’ was conceived by some facet of anti-Christian sentiment.

    I had been told the same when I was young that use of the X in place of Christ was intended to malign and de-Christify Christmas but when I actually looked into its use, as can be seen from the Wikipedia article above, I discovered that it developed as an abbreviation for the name of Christ based on its initial Greek letter X at a time when Christians were under severe persecution and threat of life and many people could not read. The abbreviation X or Xp and the icthus fish symbol were means of safer written communication between Christians that could be understood by literate and illiterate alike and always meant the same spoken word ‘Christ’.

    This usage obviously persisted beyond the severe persecution that necessitated it and, as with any good brand logo (‘logos’ = the Word; the first logo?), it’s power as a symbol that transcended language and cultural barriers would have solidified this use as Christianity spread throughout Europe and the associated ‘brand imagery’ (if I can use such terms in this context) of the cross merged with the conveniently pictorial X abbreviation. X was a coeval written symbol for Christ long before the English words of the phrase ‘cross out’ were invented; it was later, and separately, that we modern English speakers would equate X as a symbol for the word & action ‘cross’.

    So I don’t look at it as something inherently insulting to Christ but merely an archaic textual representation that is now redundant in our largely literate modern society. I believe it’s this irrelevance in the light of increased literacy and the predominance of English as a near universal language that caused people to make assumptions about its purpose in recent times which has led to the symbol X and the English term ‘cross out’ to be mistakenly conflated. Similarly, the relatively modern fad of pronouncing it in spoken language as ‘ex’ is also erroneous and as silly as trying to pronounce ‘texting’ as ‘txting’. It was only X to abbreviate or disguise its written form, not spoken form.

    Unfortunately it’s we Christians who now tend to fuel the rise of this misconception about the use of ‘X’ in Christianity-related words and this makes it wise to discourage such use as we are consequently in the process of changing its meaning into what we object to whether it’s origin is that or not. For this reason I wouldn’t use it, quite apart from the fact that it’s just just poor English.

    I would say that I’ve come across few people in the design/print industry who would use Xmas when it comes to greeting cards etc. It is and should be regarded as an uncouth abbreviation with no place in quality design communication. I find more often it’s done in ignorance of proper English usage than anti-Christian sentiment. If there is an ideological resistance to referring to Christianity in terms of the Christmas holidays people usually just avoid it altogether in favour of ‘Season’s Greetings’, ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Festive Season’.

    p.s. This comment turned into a full scale etymological geek out for which I apologise Xo]

  4. Andrew Kelsall

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the details on the matter. Despite the history of the use of “X”, there’s no denying the fact that many, not all, but many people will either write Xmas as a purposeful decision to abandon Christianity. And for those who say it, well, you now my thoughts on that…

    Thanks for your comment, appreciated 🙂

  5. toni Apo

    Glory to God, You’ve noticed that… truly it is not good if you shorten the Word Christmas.. which means you’ve taking out Christ in the spirit of Christ if you put “X”….. and You are Correct to boycott the “Xmas” term………. DONT BE JUSTIFIED…..

    Speak the Truth about JESUS CHRIST……..

    Toni “SPY” Apo