Krismas and Christ's Mass

by Will Shetterly

Merry Krismas!

Krismas and Christ's Mass

A history of nonchristian Christmas

Famous nonchristian Christmas songs

Put the Kris back in Krismas! 

A history of the word "Krismas" 

What's Christian about Christmas trees?

 other Krismas sites

Merry Krismas to you!

Christ’s mass is the celebration of the birth of the teacher who said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor.”

Xmas is also the celebration of Christ’s mass. “X” is the Greek letter “chi,” the first letter of “christ” as it was first written in Greek, Christos. So, if you’re Christian, you want to keep the “X” in Xmas.

Krismas (spelled in many ways, including "Christmas") is the great winter folk festival of English-speaking countries. Like Santeria, its roots are obscured by token elements of Christianity. To most adherents of Krismas, their god is an all-knowing, all-powerful universalist who travels around the world in a night, giving presents to children. A minority insist that the god’s omniscience results in rewarding good children exclusively. Most adherents are monotheists (though they believe the sky god has supernatural helpers), but polytheistic Krismas schismatics teach of an evil, ultimately lesser god who punishes bad children.

The sky god has many names. One is Kris Kringle; Christians claim the name is from “Christ Kindl” or “Christ child,” though Kris Kringle is neither Christ nor child. Another is Santa Claus; Christians claim that is from Saint Nicholas, though “Santa” is Latin, “Claus” is Germanic, and the robust sky god of solstice bears no resemblance to the slender man whose feast day comes weeks earlier on December 6. The name “Father Christmas” suggests the sky god's origin: It's a lazy translation of “Old Man Winter," the winter spirit who promises the birth of spring.

The Krismas belief has distinct differences from Christianity:

Santa lives in a modest house; Jesus stayed with friends.

Santa is married; Jesus liked to be with his gang or go off by himself.

Santa and his helpers make things to give others; Jesus says the rich should help the poor.

Jesus can fly; Santa needs a sleigh and reindeer.

Jesus makes wine; Santa makes toys.

Jesus makes people well; Santa makes people happy.

There are similaries, too:

Jesus and Santa believe in giving anonymously.

Jesus and Santa believe in giving to everyone.

Jesus and Santa don’t expect to be given anything in return.

So, if you celebrate Christ’s mass, Christmas, Chrismukkah, Krismas, or some other day this winter, I wish you a Happy Holiday!

Unless that offends you, and then I don’t.