Is this the world's smallest Christmas card? Reuters

Parents of pupils attending Belton Lane Primary School received a letter from the school's headteacher which was not received well. Jonathan Mason sent a letter to the parents informing them that the school would not encourage the exchange of Christmas cards this year. Mason claimed that the initiative was suggested by children who were worried about the environmental impact of the greeting card industry. Parents called the decision hypocritical and "Grinch-like".

In the letter sent to 275 pupils' parents, Mason pointed out the impact of Christmas cards on the environment. Mason started the letter by stating that children had spoken to him about the wasteful tradition of exchanging Christmas cards.

The letter claimed that if the Christmas cards exchanged globally each year were placed next to each other, they would cover the Earth's circumference 500 times. Mason also stated that the manufacture of the cards added to the alarmingly high carbon emissions of the world.

Christmas Card
Primary school headteacher criticised for banning Christmas card exchange. Rosie Greenway/Getty Images

The school would be breaking a 170-year old tradition by not having the post box for children to drop off their Christmas cards. However, Mason did not entirely deny the children the right to get Christmas cards. He instructed the parents to send the children with a common Christmas card for the whole class. Instead of giving each classmate a card, children would give their teacher the common card which they would display in the classroom.

Though the children might have suggested the environment-friendly Christmas celebration idea, the parents did not share their enthusiasm.

Aggrieved parents told the Daily Mail that the move by the headteacher went against "the Christmas spirit:" Some parents claimed that the cards made their children happy so taking them away was unfair. Some rebellious parents stated that they would not adhere to the ban and would continue the tradition. According to a few parents, Christmas cards are recyclable so the environmental impact of exchanging them has been hyped up by the headteacher.

The fact that Mason had sent out 275 letters riled up some parents even more. They felt that after wasting so much paper instead of messaging or e-mailing parents, the move to ban Christmas cards is highly hypocritical.