+ For my part, since the first letter of 'Christ' in Greek is 'chi' (x), and I normally abbreviate Christ with 'X' (and 'Christian' with 'Xian'), I have no problem with abbreviating 'Xmas' and feeling I've left 'Christ' in it. YMMV (Your mileage may vary).
+ Another thought about the observance of Christmas: Many Christians lament the lack of 'Christ' in Christmas, and I'd say they have a good point. Seems to me that one good way to counteract that deficiency, if it's not too high church for you, and in obvious addition to deemphasizing material gifts, is to embrace the traditional seasons of the liturgical church calendar. Thereby, we're actually been in Advent, waiting for the coming of Christ. Now and for the next 10 days (12 in all, which should ring a bell) we're in the Christmas season, Christmastide, if you like. Be counter-cultural. Celebrate Christmas now.
+ Some people will say: it's origins are in a pagan holiday, so it's all a bunch of rot. I disagree. It's origins are the birth of Christ. Some Saturnalia traditions and timing were adopted and adapted. To get theologically and missiologically technical, it can be culturally contextual without being encultured. Macon has some good things to say about this topic.
+ At risk of nullifying my previous point (which I don't think has to be), a few little gift updates. Some of us banded together and bought Wil 'Lego Star Wars' and we've played it a couple times a day for the last 3 days. That, plus the previous week of 'Mario Party 7' finds him this morning with... Nintendo elbow (his right, I think). Poor boy. He doesn't really want to rest it, either. We'll keep you posted.
Bethy got a Holiday (not Xmas) Angel Barbie, a nursery for her baby dolls, and the Felicity (American Girls) DVD.
What was Christine's favorite present? I don't know. I guess I haven't asked, yet (Bad husband! *slaps own hand*). She got herself some biscotti and I ordered (through her folks) a non-broken kitchen timer (hoping the tone will drive me less crazy than her current two broken ones).
+ For myself, I like Wil's presents pretty well ;-). And I didn't get anything else major (besides my share of the Nintendo), because I'm saving for an iPod (or some similar tool). More on that later.
+ I hope you have a merry Christmas, should you so choose, these next 10 days (my next 3 will be cluttered, unfortunately, with trying again to get my CDL).