Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Xmas--'Tis the season to take offence?

Christmas card from David O. McKay to President Joseph F. Smith’s family, wishing them a “Merry Xmas.”

Among the several responses my recent blog post received (most of which appeared on message boards) was the following remark coming from an active Latter-day Saint: “The one thing that bugs me is people writing Xmas instead of Christmas. To me that takes Christ out of Christmas."

Sadly, the assertion echoes an attitude not all that uncommon in the LDS Church; thanks in part to the influence of Apostle Boyd K. Packer, who had expressed the same offense in a speech delivered to Brigham Young University students: “I shudder when I see the sign that says 'Merry Xmas.' It is symbolic, I suppose, of what has been done in an effort to cross Christ out of Christmas.” BYU Speeches of the Year, 1962 (delivered 19 December 1962), p. 4.

Although such claims have been debunked time and time again, every year the controversy still manages to rear its ignoramus head.


  1. Great post mike. I started going to another church in Utah Valley after being LDS all my life and last year the sign guy (who just recently started coming to the church) put "XMAS" because he didn't have enough room to put "CHRISTMAS". The church actually received phone calls and e-mails from LDS members that they were offended by the abbreviation. One e-mail stated "What! Don't have enough room for CHRIST!" The pastor was out of town for 3 days and of course he fixed it right away when he came back because even members of the church would be offended if they saw it.

    People get too worked up.

  2. What I hate is when people repeatedly say, "It's the reason for the season."