Every year around this time, I’ll come in contact with someone complaining about the use of Xmas instead of Christmas and how it is directly related to the secularization of Christmas as society seeks to remove God (and Christ) from most aspects of public life. In reality, Xmas is a legitimate Christian abbreviation for Christmas. Χριστος (Khristos) is the Greek word for Christ. Yes, the Greek alphabet causes it to look radically different from our English version, but the pronunciation is quite similar, and it is easy to hear that our “Christ” is derived from the Greek Χριστος.
It is not often that I use Xmas in a manner that others are going to see. I am probably most likely to pen a shopping list that reads, “pick up JR’s Xmas gift,” in a hurry. It would probably appear next to “buy O.J.” and “go to USPS.” A couple of ways in which you may see me use Xmas in real life are on Twitter or in text messages. The number of characters count in these situations, and I will use Xmas instead of Christmas if it means one cohesive tweet or text message instead of two separate parts of the same idea. Unless I am in a super rush, I will probably never write someone a letter (or even an email) in which I use Xmas instead of Christmas. And I would certainly never say Xmas instead of Christmas. Xmas is exactly what it is: an abbreviation for Christmas. Proper use of an abbreviation is fine with me.