Tuesday, November 22, 2005

X out Xmas... or X out Christmas?

In another lifetime (really, about 15 years ago), I wrote a piece called "It's time to X out Xmas."
It was a rant, to be sure, about the trend in advertising of the time to use "Xmas" instead of Christmas. I didn't like the idea because of all of the negative connotations around the letter X. Still don't, even though one person reminded me that X can be used to recall the cross on which Christ died... and that X is the shape of the Greek letter that is the first letter in its translation of Christ. The holiday is Christmas, not Xmas. Do it right.
Nowadays, though, the debate has gone farther -- as to whether there's a subversive campaign to keep the word "Christmas" out of our vocabulary altogether. Certainly, the Anti-Christian Libertines Union has done its share to remove any references of the holiday's real name from the public sphere, and Bill O'Reilly, the cantankerous talking head and successor to Andy Rooney (who has lost some of his edge) as America's #1 curmudgeon, has been taking it on of late, focusing on the big retailers (he runs a paying membership site; no links to that).
But Media Matters, which isn't exactly friendly to the traditional point of view, has a transcript of a recent O'Reilly rant/interview in which he takes off on an advertising exec who endorses staying away from "Merry Christmas."
The guy calls it "not inclusive."
It is Christmas. It isn't Xmas or Happy Holidays.
When I do my Christmas shopping (one of the most dreaded tasks in the universe -- I am not a shopper), I want to do it in a place that acknowledges "Christmas". Not "Xmas". Not "Happy Holidays."
No euphemisms, please.
And, trite as it is, here is one vote to keep Christ in Christmas.

/rant off