Well, that’s that for another year, and not a moment too soon. Christmas I mean.

What a monumental waste of money, emotion and resources.

That’s not me going all ‘bah humbug’ (well actually I suppose it is), but I think I have some valid reasons why we should all row back a bit on Christmas.

So here are a few of them:

  • It’s an environmental disaster

Consider yourself an eco-warrior? Well Christmas isn’t for you. Just think of all that waste. There’s wrapping paper that lasts for a couple of minutes before ending up in the bin; the diesel miles from the delivery vans dropping off those boxes that have the big faux smiles on them; all those people adding to the world’s CO2 travelling around the county to spend a couple of days with their families and let’s not forget all the trees that are chopped down to spend a couple of weeks slowly dying in your front room.

  • Christmas songs are truly rubbish

Having a Christmas hit may be the gift that keeps on giving for the person who wrote it (just think about Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody which is said to earn more than £500,000 a year in royalties) but for the rest of us it’s torture. Yes, I love Fairytale of New York. I love it the first time I hear it each year and maybe the second or third but by the time Christmas is over, I really wish the Pogues had never met Kirsty MacColl.

Just as an aside, while doing some research for this, I came across the staggering news that the song Jingle Bells isn’t a Christmas tune at all. According to the Guardian, Jingle Bells was written by American James Pierpont in 1857. Originally called One Horse Open Sleigh, it’s about Thanksgiving.

Apparently, if you get to the second verse, which is never sung at a British carol concert, you would see just how not a Christmas song it is.

  • Over-indulgence 1

Eating too much is a very big part of Christmas, and that in itself is a good reason to tone things down a little. Just think about the obesity problem for a minute? Christmas is a disaster for those of us who can’t resist another After Eight or that second helping of Christmas pudding

  • Over-indulgence 2

Oh yes, it’s drinking too much alcohol. I’m really struggling to come to terms with how the concept of getting legless at the office Christmas party marries with ‘peace and goodwill to all men’.

Those who know me may think I’m being just a little hypocritical here and yes, it’s true I do like the odd tipple, but even so, that doesn’t make it right.

  • Christmas isn’t even our festival

It is is just a Christian version of the Roman festival of Saturnalia which was originally held on December 17. Later it was expanded until it lasted all the way up to December 23. But it never shared a date with Christmas. There was a Roman festival on December 25.

And yes, the British custom of merrymaking and feasting at Christmastide first appears in the historical record during the Middle Ages (c 1100-1300), according to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia. This almost certainly represented a continuation of pre-Christian midwinter celebrations in Britain.

  • Christmas can affect your mental health

OK, much of what I’ve written is just a little bit tongue in cheek but there is a serious side to it. According to the website mentalhealth.org.uk, while Christmas can be a joyful time of the year, filled with festivities, food, parties and time with loved ones, for some, it can also be one of the hardest times of the year.

Christmas can bring feelings of obligation and over-commitment to social plans. Some people may experience loneliness and isolation.

And for those on restricted budgets, the financial pressures can also be overwhelming.

It’s too late to do anything about it this year, and maybe next year could be different, but somehow I doubt it.

By the way, happy New Year.