When I was growing up I often saw signs that read, “Merry Xmas” instead of “Merry Christmas.” As a child It hurt my heart to think that my Savior’s name had been taken out of Christmas! What I was not aware of at that time was that the practice of using the symbol “X” in place of Christ’s name has been going on amongst religious scholars for at least 1000 years. The “X” is actually indicating the Greek letter “Chi,” which is short for the Greek word meaning “Christ”. So “Xmas” and “Christmas” are equivalent in every way except their lettering. But, as a child I was confused.
Jump to 2016. In our current culture, as I watch my 13 grandchildren growing up, they are being encouraged to not use the words “Merry Christmas” as we we are told that it is politically incorrect … we should be saying “Happy Holidays” so that we don’t offend anyone. Once again, I have a feeling of sadness that all children of today will hear less and less that Christmas is all about Christ.
With that said … MY plan with MY family is to always keep CHRIST in Christmas. These seven simple suggestions will help communicate to all of my family that CHRIST is the real reason for Christmas:
- Play Christmas music about Jesus in my car and in my home.
- When writing handwritten notes at Christmas, I will be sure to write “Merry CHRISTmas” with Christ in all caps.
- Have a family group time on Christmas day emphasizing that Christ should be the center of our Christmas celebrations.
- Include a child-friendly Nativity Set as part of my home Christmas decorations.
- Try to purchase religious Christmas stamps for my family’s Christmas cards.
- Make sure that going to church is part of my family Christmas tradition.
- Before exchanging family gifts on Christmas, talk with my family about God’s most precious Gift … Jesus!
What’s YOUR plan?
Jerry Vogel is an Editorial Ministry Specialist in Lifeway Kids. He is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University and has served over 40 years in Kids Ministry at the local church level as well as at Lifeway. Jerry currently teaches four-year-olds at his church.