Perhaps we should blame Twitter for the War on Christmas. Like the inexorable lengthening of the pre-Christmas marketing season, Twitter creates an ever downward pressure to abbreviate Christmas to #Xmas (#Xms? hmmmm).

Recently, the Christmas warriors at Fox and on conservative talk radio have lumped people using “Xmas” instead of “Christmas” as another example of their fictional War on Christmas. Leave aside the fact that X is the first letter in Christ’s name written in ancient Greek and has been used as short-hand for spelling Christmas since 1551, its current use has been appropriated by the fear-mongers. These fear-mongers are trying to convince us that our country, which is dominated by Christian culture in everything from how government opens its official proceedings to the ad buys on television from Thanksgiving (no wait, Halloween) through the end of the year, is trying to kill Christmas.


Here is my alternative explanation for the diminishing nomenclature: “Xmas,” and even “Happy Holidays,” use fewer characters than “Christmas” and “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” respectively. With only 140 characters at our disposal in a tweet (and only 160 in a text message), it must be Twitter’s fault!

Yes, the War on Christmas is being perpetrated by Twitter. And the rest of us are just sheep being herded by the incessant need to over-share in 140 characters.


There… I’ve said it… it’s out there… I’m not taking it back! (H/T Tom Snyder, R.I.P.)


Social Advocacy & Politics is a weekly, exclusive column for Social Media Today by Alan Rosenblatt that explores the intersection of politics and social media. Look for the next installment next Tuesday morning.