One of the local churches has dragged out the old chestnut about the abbreviation Xmas "taking the Christ out of Christmas" for their 'wonderful' sign on the highway where they display their irritating anti-evangelistic platitudes each week. Grrr.
As someone with a smattering of ancient Greek, it drives me a little nuts. The capital of the Greek letter Khi looks like our X. It represents the first letter (Kh) of the word Christ (which should be spelt Khrist and if you wonder why we spell it wrong blame the Romans, I believe that it's their fault). It has been used as an abbreviation for the word Christ for centuries. Xian in lieu of Christian, for example. I use it all the time when taking notes for sermons or assignments because it is a frequent occurrence and I am lazy.
The fact that a classical education is no longer the standard to be considered 'edicated' is probably not the end of the world, whatever Sir Humphrey Appelby may think. The fact that good Xian people get upset about it when there is no reason to is mildly irritating, but simply underscores the lack of good Biblical (particularly language) education we get generally in our churches unless we particularly search for it.
In fact, I get a giggle anytime I suspect that someone has deliberately swapped Xmas for Christmas to be more politically correct/inclusive, because Christ is still in it - maybe undercover, but still definitely there. (he, he, he)
So wishing you and your families a happy and holy Khi-mas, and God's richest blessings for 2009.
What is the chance that I will write a letter to the aforementioned local church?
... Approximately None (I told you I was lazy)
And if you go to church as part of your Xmas tradition, I dare you to wish people a 'Happy Xmas'. What is the chance that I will?
... You guessed it!
International is normal
1 hour ago