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The term Xmas is an alternate spelling for Christmas. This spelling is disliked by many Christians, who believe that it is an informal or flippant abbreviation because, as written in English, it literally takes "Christ" out of "Christmas." The word has been adopted by many secularists and atheists who try to downplay the religious aspects of Christmas. Further, in modern English the letter "X" is sometimes associated with pornography or with the pseudo-word xtreme (denoting a nihilistic lifestyle).

However, in actuality, the term is a Greek-based abbreviation, with the "X" standing for the first letter of the Greek term "Χριστος" (Christ). Therefore, the usage of Xmas by Christians (or even the term "Xtian" as a parallel abbreviation for "Christian") may be used by believers as an attempt to re-appropriate the means of discourse, thereby reclaiming a portion of the linguistic heritage of the English language and Christian culture in the West.