Thursday, November 22, 2007

x rated

OK. Teaser title, I know. But it is about 'x's.
What season is upon us? Christmas, right? So when you see Xmas, the X stands for Christ, right? All my life I've avoided using this abbreviation. I'm sure someone told me it was wrong or bad or something, but whatever it was, it stuck and to this day I write out the whole thing, not wanting an 'X' to stand in place of Christ. It's kind of funny how there are things like that, things that have become a part of me of which I do not know the origin, but I feel very strongly about and would defend even without good reason because I grew up with that thought or belief. That's another topic too vast to study today.
Now I find I'm faced with another 'x' dilemma. It's been around a long time, too, but has just started burrowing into my conscience and consciousness. My address ends in Crossing, and the post office even abbreviates it 'Xing'. One could use the same logic I used with Christmas and say that the cross is what Christ came for to this earth, and it is no more appropriate to substitute an 'x' for it than for the name of Christ. But there were crosses and crossings long before Christ's death on the cross, and the word cross is used regularly without any blasphemy in describing a mood, a journey, a meeting of two roads, and so on.
I must admit that using 'x' instead of cross in crossing in my address is much easier, and since the post office seems to be approving of it, even encouraging, I'm tempted to continue.
But there is a difference. To substitute 'x' for Christ is not a good thing in my opinion. Maybe it makes sense in making signs, fewer letters, easier to spell. But the 'x' in xmas stands for Christ, and to my knowledge, there weren't any Christs before Jesus and none after, and the word means what it means and stands for the Savior of the world, so to leave it out for the sake of signage and spelling when it is the sole reason the holiday is celebrated is to insult the One who came and died on a cross, spelled out or 'x', for me and you, so I'm staying away from xmas in favor of Christmas, but if it's ok with the US Postal Service, who now seem not to even care about the city where one lives as much as the 5 or 9 digit zip code attached, I'll keep abbreviating Crossing as Xing.

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