Why do people shorten
Christmas to XMAS?
Question: Why do people shorten or abbreviate the word Christmas to Xmas? Is it done to DISREPECT Jesus?
Answer: Changing the word Christmas to the word Xmas does not 'cut Jesus short' as your Emailed question suggested. I'll explain in a moment. Before I do, however, let's find out where the X in the word came from and then we'll go back fifty years or so when the idea to shorten the name of the holiday seems to have first caught on. The word for Christ in the Greek is Christos (which is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #5547). In Greek, the twenty-second letter of their alphabet is written as "X" and is pronounced CHI. It is the first Greek letter in the word for Christ.
Many years ago retailers realized they could save both space and ad costs by shortening the word Christmas to Xmas using the letter X to replace the letters "Christ." After a few years of this practice, however, the religious community countered with the slogan, "Let's put CHRIST back into Xmas." Generally they succeeded, especially since modern advertising layouts don't depend on the number of letters in a word.
Changing the spelling of Christmas does not somehow "cut Jesus short" nor does it disrespect him. This is primary due to the fact that most people (whether they go to church or not) realize Christ never really was in the holiday in the first place. Most know that its origin is based on pagan, not Christian, beliefs and practices. For example, the celebration uses pagan sex symbols (orbs placed on the tree) to commemorate our Savior's birth.
These facts about the most popular holiday in the world should be no surprise to most people, since every year we're reminded by the media and even ministers and pastors that Jesus was not born anywhere near December 25th. In fact, a good argument can be made that he was born in the FALL of the year, around our September - October period, in 5 B.C. The date of the 25th of December was picked by the Catholic Church many years ago because it was the date when the pagans had an important festival. The thinking was that if the church adopted some pagan holidays, then stripped off some of the more blatant non-Christian activities ("Christianizing" it in a sense), then the church was in a better position to attract the pagans and have them convert. Think of it as a membership building program - where the goal is attract more regular members (which means more money and power for the church).