By Mia Hanuska

Xmas is used commonly as a shorthand for Christmas, but why? Many believe it is a way to avoid the religiousness of the holiday, alongside many Christians arguing it ‘takes Christ out of Christmas.’ However, neither of these are true. The term “xmas” dates back to the early beginnings of the holiday. In the church, Christians used the monogram ☧ to represent the name of Jesus, combining the Greek letter “X” (‘chi’, pronounced ‘khee’, rhymes with ‘key’), which was also used as the first letter in the Greek word for Christ/Christos (Χριστός), and the Greek letter “P” (‘rho’, pronounced ‘row’).  The abbreviation ☧ was first used in text 1021 when an Anglo-Saxon scribe used it to save space. The P was eventually dropped from XPmas, and the term continued use in writing, leaving us with Xmas.