Thursday the Third Week of Advent

Why is Christmas sometimes spelled “Xmas”?

The “X” refers to Christ. The Greek word Xpiotóç or Christos, which means “anointed one.” The letter X gave early Catholics a way to communicate without threat of persecution. The invention of the printing press in 1436 helped standardize the abbreviation. Since changing out the movable type was labor intensive, substituting the word christ with an “X” cut down on the printing costs of church publications.