Archive for December, 2010

Keep Chi in Christmas

Hello folks. A short one, in the spirit of the season:

A few years ago I was flooded with chain emails, roasting nationwide retailers on an open fire for saying “happy holidays,” and the like. I generally try to avoid pettiness, although I did get a great-big-grinchy eye roll a few years back, when I was in a holiday parade. Portraying an unlicensed-likeness of Disney’s Prince Phillip, I finally worked up the courage to address members of the crowd with a hearty “Merry Christmas,” and I was instantly met with a reproachful’ harsh “Happy Holidays!” from a crowd member. It stuck with me… I have not portrayed a copyrighted character in a corporate-sponsored community event directed at children since.

I think the corporations got the message (i.e. got scared) because this year they really seem to be overdoing the “Merry Chistmas”‘s… perhaps they realized the number of potential Christmas shoppers willing to boycott was greater than the number of non-Christmas-celebrants likely to be offended (who, by definition, weren’t likely to be doing heavy December shopping anyway). The system works.

But at least the “Happy Holidays” controversy seems seems to have gone the way of the Segue. So why write about a dead issue? Because, in an optimistic…perhaps foolishly-so… hope for a Christmas miracle, I’d like to do my part to catalyze the extinction of the “keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers (and buttons, banners, etc). There is a single, simple reason why.

linus on podium

Lights Please...

I’d be all aboard a movement to, say, keep the season in the spirit of Christ by showing good will toward others, pursuing peace on Earth, valuing personal sacrifice over wealth, and serving as an example by leveraging one’s own wealth and material blessings to in-turn bless others. But that sounds like socialism. So instead, the movement is largely trying to discourage writing/saying “Xmas.” The “X” removes “Christ,” you see.

I was going to provide a few article links here, since none of what follows represents original research. But since there are so many, all saying exactly the same thing, I think it would be far more amusing to link to this instead.

In short, “Christ,” in Greek, starts with the letter “chi.” Capital letter Chi is identical in appearance to the Latin letter “X.” So this age-old abbreviation is the modern day equivalent of writing “Merry C’mas.” Why don’t we say that? Because it sounds kinda dirty.