WOULD it be so bad to cancel Christmas?

News about festivities possibly facing the chop have caused much consternation across the country.

But instead of grumbling, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves why we are getting so worked up about the prospect of abandoning this year’s festivities.

Admit it, Christmas, by and large, is a great big pain in the backside. In the usual run up to the festive season - which in the UK starts around March - aren’t we all guilty of moaning a bucket about it?

We can do without the expense. I know I can. In a year in which wages have been cut and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost across the country, surely it’s not sensible for people to spend half their annual income on Amazon deliveries for family and friends. Under the circumstances, I don’t think anyone expects it, so why don’t we give it a miss?

For many households, their Christmas food bill alone could service the national debt.

To buy so much for one day is obscene. In many homes there is so much left over that, for the next six weeks, kitchen cupboards groan under the weight of tins of biscuits, boxes of panettone and bags of Brazil nuts.

Christmas trees aren’t cheap and sending cards and parcels costs a fortune. There’s a big enough socially distanced queue at my local post office as it is, often extending outside the shop. If Christmas goes ahead, we’ll be lining up three times round the block.

Then there’s the question of who can go to whose house and who is part of whose bubble, and who is left out. That in itself could create more family rifts than any game of Monopoly.

And who will explain to kids why granny isn’t allowed to visit but a fat stranger with a white beard is welcome to pop by and eat mince pies in your living room?

It’s not as if Christmas hasn’t been cancelled before. It is thought that Oliver Cromwell banned the celebration in the mid-17th century. Puritans thought singing and related Christmas jollity were not only abhorrent but sinful. In 1644, an Act of Parliament prohibited the festivities and it wasn’t until the 1660s that the Christmas spirit was revived.

Of course, back then people didn’t have the full-on, light-up-your house-and-wear-your-Christmas-jumper experience that we have now, but they coped without Christmas. And we would too.

There is a lot at stake for us this year, and in the scheme of things missing Christmas is a small price to pay. Children will no doubt complain but if you tell them they won’t have to sit through a dozen Christmas Specials and embarrass themselves playing charades, and can instead spend more time on their phones, they might just buy it.

Coronavirus aside, there are so many silver linings to doing away with Christmas. We won’t have to watch those schmaltzy John Lewis adverts or listen to the same single by Slade belting out in every shop we visit.

We won’t need to put up and take down decorations or go through the hassle of changing unwanted gifts. We’ll be a few stone lighter minus all those turkey sandwiches, Christmas pud and on-tap prosecco. We won’t feel sluggish and unhealthy after days of shuffling between the fridge and the sofa.

A break will also give us chance to think about Christmas and its real meaning, beyond the rampant commercialism that has taken over.

And next year - Covid permitting - we will enjoy and appreciate it even more.