Please, if you have particular historical knowledge to support or refute any of these statements, let me know!
The feedback I've already received has been quite intriguing, I certainly never knew these details.
I've received a couple responses to my short explanation of Xiaan, below is the most articulate, sent to me by Loren of the Writer's Workshop.
It means a lot to me to have feedback of this nature!
I thought you'd be interested to know about the "X" in Xmas (and Xiaan). I'm not a Christian either, but the history of using this letter in
English is intriguing. X is a letter in the Greek alphabet, not related to the similar X in English (pronouced "ks"). In the Greek alphabet it
is equivalent to a soft "k" sound, rather like the "ch" at the end of the Scottish word "loch". It's exactly the same in Russian's Cyrillic
Another fellow e-mailed me with a slightly different response;
Early versions of the Christian gospels were written and circulated in common Greek (called Koine, by the way) and in that language the first
letter of the word "christ" is the Greek "X". Later it became common for early Christian writers to just use the initial letter -- X -- to stand
for the whole name -- Christ. Thus we nowadays get Xmas, which is an accurate abbreviation for the whole word, given that the first letter is
the Greek letter and not the English one.
With your name, therefore it strikes us as quite inventive to spell it Xiaan, and what you probably haven't realised is that it's not only
inventive but also historically accurate -- in other words the name Xiaan would, in fact, be pronounced Christiaan !!!
Christmas was never shortened to X-mas by anyone even in this, or the last, millenium. The "X" in "Xmas" is the common Koine Greek slang for Christ, which was spelled Xrist. The "X" was pronounced "K". Names were often abbreviated in this way in ancient texts so that the scribes would have less to write. So "Xmas" is not an abbreviation as we understand it (insulting), but actually started by the the first leaders of the Christian Church, this is to include the first Saints.