Grateful for X-Mas

I rarely refer to Christmas as Xmas … but it definitely fits this exercise in thinking about gratitude using our alphabet. And while some Christians find Xmas unacceptable, the history is interesting:

But, the history of the word Xmas is actually more respectable—and fascinating—than you might suspect. First of all, the abbreviation predates (by centuries) its use in gaudy advertisements. It was first used in the mid-1500s.X represents the Greek letter chi, the initial letter in the word Χριστός (Chrīstos). And what does Χριστός mean? “(Jesus) Christ.” X has been an acceptable representation of the word Christ for hundreds of years.


I’m grateful for X-mas for so many reasons …

I love Christmas lights! We enjoy riding around lighted neighborhoods oohing and aahing at the various displays. We typically visit the iconic Austin Trail of Lights with the grandkids – always a fun filled night! I love the musical expression of lights that dance at Mozarts – a favorite coffee shop. And of course we light our own tree … it’s coming. The twinkling of lights late at night – after everyone is in bed – adds to my Christmas joy.

The lights of Christmas speak to me of joy and the excitement of children.

I love Christmas music! Maybe one reason I love it is because it is special, reserved for only a few weeks each year – refreshingly new every year. Christmas music is nostalgic – it warms my heart to remember Christmases past, the music my mom played as she wrapped packages, the music the choir sang each year.

The music of Christmas lifts my spirit and evokes great memories!

I love Christmas decorations! I have a few boxes in the attic – Christmas decorations collected over 46 years of marriage – a collection of Santas, of snowmen, of manger scenes, and of course, baubles of all sorts. While we often use an artificial tree, I like to collect a few clippings from real trees to add the scent of pine to the house.

The decorations of Christmas speak to me of anticipation!

I love Christmas because family and friends gather, laughing, singing, swapping gifts. We are reminded once again of how much we appreciate each other. It’s always a challenge to find a just right gift for the swapping. And giving can be such a blessing – we look for ways to surprise others with blessings, giving an unexpected gift to a friend, giving an extra tip to a server, buying gifts for needy children and more.

The gifts of Christmas – both giving and receiving – remind me how blessed I am!

Most of all, I’m grateful for X-mas because it is the birth of Jesus. He chose to leave the glories of Heaven, to become a little baby. He chose to lay aside his divine power to take on human form. He chose to become my kinsman in order to redeem me … making Christmas so amazing!

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

E. S. Elliot, 1864
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