Why is Christmas sometimes spelled Xmas?

Why is Christmas sometimes spelled Xmas?
...especially when combined with the word "sale"?

According to the book Did you ever Wonder... by Jeff Rovin, the word for Christ in Greek is Xristos. The use of the shortened form "Xmas" became popular in Europe in the 1500s.

The word Xmas is so common in advertising most likely because "Xmas" and "sale" have the same number of letters, and "Xmas" is significantly shorter than Christmas.



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