This is a copy of an e-mail I have sent to all my friends and family. It is not my intention to be a kill-joy, or a grumpy old man, but I just can't escape the thought that our commercialism has taken us too far down the wrong road...
In UK, we send about 1 billion Christmas cards each year, equating to more than 300,000 trees.
We use ½ billion drink cans, 3000 tonnes of aluminium foil, 83 sq.km of wrapping paper, 8 million Christmas trees which generate 12,000 tonnes of rubbish, 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging....
I am conscious that most of this high volume of consumption is brought about by commercial interests and associated advertising, and increasingly I have the feeling that I am a statistic being manipulated by marketing organisations which, if we are honest, are responsible for our current economical stress.
I hope therefore that you will all understand my decision to jump off this particular merry-go-round. I propose to send no cards or presents to any adults this year (and probably subsequent years as well!). Children may well get a token offering, because I certainly don’t want to hurt tender feelings.
Anyone who chooses to send me a card (which I would discourage) can be assured that it will be recycled, and the good wishes implied will be gratefully received and treasured. Presents are definitely not expected!
Everyone to whom I might have sent Christmas cards will of course be in my thoughts – as they are for the rest of the year. My good wishes go to everyone, because I value family and friendship above everything, and this doesn’t alter even if you don’t hear from me in December!
So have a great Christmas, everyone, and may your life be good!!
PS It seems I am not alone in this line of thinking!