Not Quite Trivia - OR - It's All Greek To Me

Do you ever get annoyed at all the signs that read 'Xmas' this and 'Xmas' that? People often tell me that they do, assuming that it's just a shortcut, and a bit disrespectful. I used to feel the same way, until I learned that the X is really the Greek letter 'chi', which is the first letter of the Greek word 'Xristos', or Christos, or, in English, Christ. In fact, the 'X' is a pretty common abbreviation for Christ (in certain boring academic circles). Probably most of the people who use the word 'Xmas' don't even know that it's both legitimate, and GREEK. But now you do.

A little information about me: I grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, which is in the Hudson River Valley, about 80 miles north of New York City. I graduated from Arlington High School there. Then I went to Union College, in Schenectady, New York, about two hours north of Poughkeepsie, graduating with a BA in Medieval and Renaissance literature. I went to seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA. While there I spent my second year living in Washington, D.C. at St. Paul's College, which was then the seminary of the Paulist Fathers (CSP), attending classes at some of the many theological schools in and around Washington. I graduated and was ordained in 1982.
My first call was to Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock, NY, which I served for eleven years. Then I was called to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Red Hook, NY, still in the Hudson Valley. I served there for fourteen years, along the way also becoming the pastor of Memorial Lutheran Church in Rock City, NY. In 2008 I was called to be the pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Lititz, PA, a call which I was forced to resign in 2011 due to kidney disease and the rigors of dialysis. After seven plus years of dialysis I received a kidney transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, on December 6, 2017. Before that I served as interim pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Marietta, PA, from 2013-2015.
Ellen and I were married on June 21, 1980. Our son Morgan was born in 1984, and our daughter Katherine in 1986. Morgan now lives and works in New York City, and Kate, with her husband Sebastian and their daughter Clementine, live in Philmont, New York; again, still in the Hudson Valley. I also have two sisters, who have now retired with their husbands to Poultney, Vermont.
We have two dogs, Posey (actually 'Mariposa') and Annie, who make all of our homecomings sweet. My hobbies include photography, back yard birding, and reading, most recently about Russia. Russia has been an interest of mine since 1966, when I was placed in a Russian language class. I continued that side-light through college. My junior year in high school our school's Russian classes spent two weeks in the Soviet Union, an eye-opening experience in many ways. This past summer I realized a long-time dream of returning to Russia, spending three days in St. Petersburg as part of a cruise, forty-eight years after first seeing what was then Leningrad. It was wonderful. Ask me about it - if you've got some time!