The word Christmas is a contraction of Christ's Mass, derived from the Old English Cristes mæsse.
It is sometimes abbreviated Xmas, probably because X resembles the Greek letter Χ (chi) which has often historically been used as an abbreviation for Christ (Χριστός in Greek).
The NativityThe Nativity of Jesus refers to the Christian belief that the Messiah was born to the Virgin Mary. The story of Christmas is based on the biblical accounts given in the Gospel of Matthew, namely Matthew 1:18-Matthew 2:12 and the Gospel of Luke, specifically Luke 1:26-Luke 2:40. According to these accounts, Jesus was born to Mary, assisted by her husband Joseph, in the city of Bethlehem. According to popular tradition, the birth took place in a "stable", surrounded by farm animals, though neither the “stable” nor the animals are mentioned in the Biblical accounts. However, a "manger" is mentioned in Luke 2:7 where it states "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the child. Christians believe that the birth of Jesus fulfilled many prophecies made hundreds of years before his birth.