Xmas vs Christmas: Difference and Comparison

“Xmas” is an informal abbreviation for “Christmas,” with the “X” representing the Greek letter “Chi,” an abbreviation for Christ in Greek. While some see it as a convenient shorthand, others argue that it diminishes the religious significance of the holiday.

Key Takeaways

  1. Xmas is an informal abbreviation of Christmas, while Christmas is a religious and cultural holiday commemorating Jesus Christ’s birth.
  2. Some consider Xmas disrespectful or irreligious, while Christians and non-Christians worldwide widely celebrate Christmas.
  3. Xmas is used in advertising and marketing to save space or for aesthetic purposes, while Christmas is used in religious and formal settings.

Xmas vs Christmas

“Xmas” is a common abbreviation for “Christmas.” It replaces the word “Christ” with the letter “X,” which comes from the Greek letter “chi,” the first letter in the Greek word for Christ (Χριστός). “Christmas” is a religious and cultural holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Xmas vs Christmas

Xmas is simply an abbreviated form of the same thing meant to help people write or type less. It also saves space on printed paper.

Christmas is a significant celebration celebrated by the Christian people group on 25th December consistently. Remembering the date of birth of Jesus Christ, the child of God is praised.

Comparison Table

TermAbbreviationFull word
Origin of “Xmas”First letter (Χ) of the Greek word for “Christ”
Religious ReferenceIndirect reference to “Christ”Direct reference to the birth of Jesus Christ
UseCasual greetings, advertisements, headlinesFormal greetings, religious contexts, official documents

What is Xmas?

Christmas, often abbreviated as Xmas, is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. The term “Xmas” is derived from the Greek word “Χριστός” (Christos), and it has been used as an informal abbreviation for Christmas since the 16th century.

Historical Significance

Origins of Christmas

Christmas has its roots in both Christian and pagan traditions. While the exact date of Jesus’ birth is not specified in the Bible, December 25th was chosen by early Christians to coincide with various pagan winter solstice festivals. Over time, Christmas became a distinct Christian celebration.

Evolution of Xmas Traditions

The celebration of Christmas has evolved over the centuries. From its early religious focus, it has expanded to include a variety of cultural and secular traditions. These range from gift-giving and festive decorations to special meals and gatherings with family and friends.

Cultural Celebrations

Global Festivities

Christmas is celebrated worldwide, with each culture adding its unique customs and rituals. In some countries, it is a religious observance, while in others, it has become a more secular and commercialized event. Notable global traditions include Christmas trees, nativity scenes, and the exchange of gifts.

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Symbols and Decorations

Several symbols and decorations are associated with Christmas. The Christmas tree, adorned with lights and ornaments, is a central fixture in many homes. Other common decorations include wreaths, mistletoe, and nativity scenes, each carrying its own symbolic significance.

Religious Significance

Christian Observances

For Christians, Christmas is a sacred occasion that marks the birth of Jesus Christ. Many attend church services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, participating in special liturgies and hymns. Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus are a prominent feature in churches and homes.

Advent Season

The Advent season, preceding Christmas, is a time of spiritual preparation and reflection. Christians often observe Advent through the lighting of Advent candles, representing hope, peace, joy, and love. This period helps believers focus on the anticipation of Christ’s coming.

Contemporary Traditions


One of the most widespread customs associated with Christmas is the exchange of gifts. This tradition symbolizes the gifts presented to Jesus by the three wise men. Today, people exchange presents as a gesture of love, kindness, and generosity.

Festive Cuisine

Christmas is also synonymous with special meals and festive cuisine. Traditional dishes vary globally but often include roast meats, festive desserts, and seasonal treats. Families gather to share meals, fostering a sense of togetherness and joy.

What is Christmas?

Christmas is an annual festival that holds significant cultural and religious importance worldwide. Celebrated on December 25th, it marks the birth of Jesus Christ, a central figure in Christianity. However, Christmas has transcended its religious origins to become a global celebration, embracing various traditions and customs.

Historical Origins

The roots of Christmas trace back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a time of feasting and gift-giving in honor of the god Saturn. The Christian celebration adapted some of these customs to commemorate the birth of Jesus, aligning it with the existing festivities.

Religious Significance

For Christians, Christmas is a time to celebrate the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came into the world to bring salvation. The nativity story, as told in the Bible, narrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, accompanied by angels, shepherds, and the three wise men.

Traditions and Customs

  1. Decorations and Christmas Tree: Homes and public spaces are adorned with festive decorations, lights, and ornaments. The Christmas tree, adorned with lights and ornaments, has become a symbol of the season.
  2. Gift-Giving: Exchanging gifts is a widespread tradition, symbolizing the gifts presented to Jesus by the wise men. This tradition fosters a spirit of generosity and goodwill.
  3. Feasting and Special Meals: Christmas is synonymous with elaborate feasts and special meals. Families gather to enjoy traditional dishes, creating a sense of togetherness and joy.
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Santa Claus and Folklore

  1. Santa Claus: A central figure in modern Christmas celebrations, Santa Claus is a jolly, gift-bearing character who travels on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The legend of Santa Claus is based on Saint Nicholas, a Christian bishop known for his generosity.
  2. Christmas Stockings: Children hang stockings by the fireplace, hoping that Santa will fill them with gifts. This tradition is rooted in the legend of Saint Nicholas leaving coins in the stockings of three poor sisters.

Global Celebrations

While Christmas has deep Christian roots, it is widely celebrated by people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Countries around the world have infused their unique customs and traditions into the celebration, creating a rich tapestry of global festivities.

Secular Celebrations

In many cultures, Christmas has evolved into a secular celebration focused on joy, love, and kindness. Non-religious individuals also participate in the festivities, enjoying the spirit of giving, decorations, and time spent with loved ones.


Main Differences Between Xmas and Christmas

  • Abbreviation:
    • “Xmas” is an informal abbreviation for “Christmas.”
    • “Christmas” is the full and traditional term.
  • Origin:
    • “Christmas” has its roots in Old English, where “Christes maesse” meant “Christ’s mass.”
    • “Xmas” originated from the Greek letter “Chi” (Χ), which is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ.
  • Usage:
    • “Christmas” is the more formal and widely accepted term in written and spoken language.
    • “Xmas” is often used in informal writing, advertising, or as a shorthand in festive contexts.
  • Religious Connotation:
    • “Christmas” explicitly refers to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
    • “Xmas” retains the religious association but may be perceived by some as a secular or commercial abbreviation.
  • Tradition:
    • “Christmas” is deeply rooted in traditional customs and religious observances.
    • “Xmas” is sometimes considered a modern and more secular way to refer to the holiday.
  • Acceptance:
    • “Christmas” is universally accepted and understood.
    • “Xmas” is accepted by many but may be avoided by those who prefer the full term for its religious and historical significance.
Difference Between Xmas and Christmas
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=saSZV_JOU_cC&oi=fnd&pg=PT4&dq=christmas+and+xmas&ots=vtj8-_a3DF&sig=R_izXhxEt8JuSx_2K1JdZTm3wqw
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dy6uG7aNku0C&oi=fnd&pg=PT9&dq=christmas+and+xmas&ots=sCthfJe3aK&sig=vd2Px7ITNpGJOlY5Ws5cBKYqZe8

Last Updated : 08 March, 2024

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