Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Joyeux Noël.
Say it almost any way you like, the meaning remains the same.
A season of well-wishing, pleasant tidings, and good cheer. It doesn't matter whether you celebrate Christmas or not, or even whether you hate the season or love it, the holiday at its heart is a good thing, meant to bring family, friends, and acquaintances together. Exchange gifts, share a bit of joy, and so forth.
In fact, there's only one thing that really kills this season deader than the Ghost of Christmas Future, and that's "X-mas."
Since when did this become an acceptable abbreviation for a cherished holiday?
I don't consider myself Christian, I don't go to church, and I only accept Jesus Christ as a human being with some good ideas. It's not strictly the plucking of "Christ" from our 'mas that gets under my skin - frankly, I could care less. It could have been called Yulemas, Giftmas, Cheermas, or Wintereenmas - whatever. But it's what the term "X-mas" represents that fills me with a trembling, inconsolable rage whenever I see it. In two words, that'd be "Rabid consumerism."
Christmas = cheer, goodwill, giving gifts around the fireplace.
X-mas = obnoxious Christmas commercials, angry drivers and unpleasant shoppers, people shot/trampled to death over fucking MERCHANDISE.
The funny paradox about Christmas-time is, it brings out both the best and the worst of the human spirit. If Christmas itself is the good half, where do you think X-mas lies, hm? "Merry [hate-filled shopping experience here! Hope you got all your relatives exactly what they wanted or they'll never love and respect you ever again!]"
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one who sees something hateful and degenerate every time that sickening abbreviation is used. Maybe it's not symbolic of everything loathsome and detestable about the market-driven commercialized and prepackaged holiday experience we've come to expect the second the clock ticks 12:00am November 1st. (Or hell, earlier if you work retail. Better start stocking up in September!)
Maybe that's the case. But I sure hope not.
Oh, and if anyone has any bright ideas on how to purge this horrid abbreviation from the public consciousness, do share. Keeping year after year of this seething hatred bottled up is starting to get to me.