The elision of Christmas to Xmas has always made me cringe a bit . Believer or no, it just has a cheapening sound like substituting rayon for silk. Or a favourite word to describe this would be verbal 'ersatz'. This time of year it abounds from fake Christmas trees to fake fireplaces. Somebody told me the word has a German root. I thought perhaps there may have been a Mr. Ersatz or Mrs Ersatz too; they invented the fake pocket! That is the most irritating show of ersatz: a beautiful jacket with the promise of two deep useful pockets and the flaps go nowhere! The moral of the story is: if you are going to copy something, then it should aspire to be as good as or better in quality. Don't you think? Or as the the adage goes: you are what you pretend to be, so pretend well!. And bring on the New Year with all the good ersatz!