Keep the X in X-Mas

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The abbreviation offends 6 in 10 evangelicals, but its history is deeply Christian

Though the demand for “more Christ in Christmas” seems to be losing momentum, most evangelicals still believe the holiday—and its seasonal greetings—should more explicitly reference the Savior.

Overall, the number of Americans who say Christmas should be more about Jesus has dropped from 79 percent in 2014 to 65 percent in 2018, according to LifeWay Research.

“Saying Christmas should be more about Jesus is a little like saying Thanksgiving should be more about giving thanks. It’s in the name of the holiday,” said Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research’s executive director. “Yet, it appears there is less cultural expectation for celebrations of the Christmas holiday to include the religious aspect.”

American nones and those of other faiths account for the bulk of the shift. In LifeWay’s 2014 report, 63 percent of members of non-Christian faiths and nearly half of the country’s nones (46%) said Christmas should be more about Jesus. Four years later, those percentages dropped to 35 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

Even Christians are slightly less likely to want to see a greater emphasis on Jesus, with 8 in 10 agreeing this year compared to 9 in 10 in 2014. But nearly all evangelicals by belief, 97 percent, still insist on more Jesus.

A majority of evangelicals (65%) say they take offense when someone says, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” though fewer than half of Christians (42%) and a third of Americans (32%) agree.

Over the years, LifeWay found the abbreviation “X-mas” to be just as controversial as “Happy holidays” or more, with 42 percent of Christians and 33 percent of Americans saying it was …

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