Never take ‘christ’ out of Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was in the second grade and kept noticing a sign in the window of a small store on Main Street in my south Alabama hometown. It read &uot;Xmas Sale.&uot;

Being the inquisitive and independent-minded child I was, I would look at the sign every time we would drive by it. I would expend exorbitant amounts of mental energy trying to figure out what it meant without ever asking.

Finally one day when my mind could take it no more, I asked my mother what it meant.

She explained to me that the &uot;X&uot; was a way of shortening the word Christmas. The &uot;X&uot; replaced the word Christ.

She explained that people did it to take up less space when they wrote the word Christmas, but that she didn’t like it because it took &uot;Christ&uot; out of Christmas.

She explained that Christ was the whole reason we have Christmas.

What a wise thought:

&uot;Never take Christ out of Christmas,&uot; my mother said.

Yet today, I see so many ways our society takes &uot;Christ&uot; out of Christmas. Most schools no longer refer to the Christmas holidays; they refer to it as the winter holidays.

Some schools don’t allow the children to sing songs like Away in a Manger and Silent Night; rather they sing songs of diversity. While that’s certainly acceptable to a degree, sometimes they get so busy trying to be diverse that they leave &uot;Christ&uot; out of Christmas.

It’s fine for others to celebrate their religious holidays; they certainly have that freedom and that right because this is America.

But must our society as a whole ignore one holiday to promote the other? Seeing as how this is a &uot;Christian nation,&uot; I don’t think so.

People are so concerned that they may offend someone by saying Merry Christmas that they often spare themselves of their own personal heritage and religious beliefs for the right of others to celebrate theirs. It’s an unnecessary evil.

As I sat in my home office writing this article, I asked my two sons who were unpacking Christmas decorations in the adjoining room to help me come up with things that represent Christmas.

One of them quickly answered,&uot; Jesus,&uot; the other one answered &uot;God.&uot; The fact that they, in their young words of wisdom answered my question that way is probably the greatest Christmas present they will ever give me.

As we approach this holiday season with Christmas parties and all the worldly symbols we have for Christmas like

eggnog, illuminated yards, visits to Santa at the mall, lighted Christmas stars and Christmas angels, Christmas presents, Christmas cookies, Christmas ornaments, Christmas music and Christmas dinner, let’s remember to never take &uot;Christ&uot; out of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and may we as a state and a nation never take &uot;Christ&uot; out of Christmas.

Beth Chapman serves as Alabama State Auditor. She and her husband, James, and two sons, Taylor and Thatcher, reside in North Shelby County. She can be reached at