Ask OldTimer

Is "Xmas" satanic? What about Santa Claus?

The Question:

I get upset when people use "Xmas" instead of Christmas, or "Xian" for Christian. I think the X is satanic. I also think that Santa Claus is satanic. What do you think?

The Answer:

There's nothing "satanic" about using "Xmas" as an abbreviation for Christmas. X is the Greek letter that stands for Christ, the "Ch" being represented in Greek by one letter "C". In Greek, Christ is written "Cristos". One of the traditional symbols of Christ is the "Chi Rho", the monogram "XP" which was used by early Christians as a symbol of their belief to each other, and still used symbolically in some denominations. It is also known as the "Chrismon", from CHRISt's MONogram, although the word "Chrismon" is also used to describe Christmas tree decorations using many Christian symbols, such as the fish, in addition to the Chi Rho.

"This relief represents a Constantinian monogram. It includes the Greek letters chi and rho, the initials of Christ in Greek. The first and last Greek letters, alpha and omega, are hanging from the chi, symbolizing that Christ is the beginning and the end of all things."*

"Certified by the Vatican Museum, Italy. From an early Christian sarcophagus of the 4th century AD."

That's why I don't get upset when people write Christmas as "Xmas" or abbreviate Christian  as "Xtian" or "Xian" - whether the user means to or not, he/she is still exalting Christ as Lord! Glory to God!

We celebrate Christmas as Jesus' birthday. Whatever we do should be to His glory and praise! Any custom or tradition that meets the "Does it glorify Jesus?" test is acceptable in the Body of Christ. And that is for you to decide prayerfully and in private according to our Christian liberty as Paul explained in Romans 14.

Early pic of Saint Nicolas The origin of Santa Claus can be found in any encyclopedia, but briefly Saint Nicholas was recognized by the early church as a man of great virtue and holiness, and he would be aghast to think he would replace HIS Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as the focus of our praise!  
So basically, exalt Christ as Lord in YOUR heart and life, prayerfully consider your customs and traditions before HIM, and don't let others criticize or condemn you for them.  

JESUS IS LORD!!! Praise His Holy Name!

See also: Should a Christian put up a Christmas Tree?

*Constantinian monogram picture & quote from:

Stained glass pic from:


More info about the Chi Rho and other Christian symbols here:

Sites about St. Nicholas/Santa Claus:
How does Santa Claus fit with Christmas?
Do we need Santa or a Savior?
Jesus and the Elves
It Started in a Manger: words and music by Rick Paul
Santa Claus And The Gospel


Note: Inclusion of a link doesn't mean that I necessarily agree with everything on that site or in that article. I'm trying to include all aspects of the debate about Santa so you can make up your own mind. Please let me know if any of these links are broken. Thanks!

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